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6000630Q8V 



GHOSTS 



AND 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 



A VOLUME FOR CHBISTMAS. 



BY MRS. CROWE, 

AUTHORESS OF "NIGHT SIDE OF NATUBE," &c. 



LONDON: 

THOMAS CAUTLET KBWBY, PUBLISHEK, 

WELBECK STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE. 

18 5 9. 



j^j^A . 4r, ^ 6 /^ , 



GHOSTS 



FAMILY LEOtyi % 



A vaErsLTCs: TTfimri 



4it 



BY ME* CIl^^WtL 



THOMAS CATHnr 





CONTENTS. 



FIRST PART. 

PEEFACE page v 

ROUND THE FIRE. 
FIBSTEVEinNG 1 

The Loyes^s Yakewvll. 
The Appointment Kept. 

SECOND EVENING .. 19 

The Whttb C at* . 
Passing Spijrits. • 
The Gasde Chasse. 

THHUD EVENING .. .. 48 

The Cab&ieiu 

FOURTH EVENING 63 

Behearsals^ &c. 
Peophbtic Dbeams. 

FIFTH EVENING 81 

The Vigil. 

The Stbangb Dog. 

The Scotch Ministee. 



• 



IV CONTENTS. 

SIXTH EVENING pa^e 9S 

The Eadiant Boy. 
The PKKDipnoN. 
Haunted Houses. 
The Justification. 

SEVENTH EVENING Ill 

The German Inn. 

The Benighted Thavbujbr. 

EIGHTH EVENING 135 

My own Visit to a Hauntbj> House. 
Mr. G/s Adventubb. 
•Conclusion to Eiest Part. 

APPENDIX 149 

Autograph Letters coumunicatxng 
Personal Experiences addressed 
TO THE Author. 



SECOND PART. 

LEGENDS OF THE EARTHBOUND. 

The Italian's Story . 173 

The Dutch Officer^s Story 209 

The Old Frenchman's Stoi^y 229 

The Swiss Lady's Storh 259 

The Sheep Farmer's Story 297 

My Friend's Story 327 



PREFjICE. 



It happened that I spent the last winter in a 
large country mansion, in the north of England, 
where we had a successicMi of visitors, and all 
manner of amusements— dancing, music, cards, 
biUiai^, and other games. 

Towards the end of December, 1857, how- 
ever, the gaiety of the house was temporarily 
interrupted by a serious misfortune that occurred 
to one of the party, which, in the evening, 
occasioned us to assemble with grave faces 
round the drawing-room fire, where we feU to 
discussing the slight tenure by which we hold 
whatever blessings we enjoy, and the sad uncer- 
tainty of human life, as it affects us in its most 
mournful aspect — the lives of those we love. 

From this theme, the conversation branched 
out into various speculations regarding the great 
mysteries of the here and hereafter ; the reunion 
of friends, and the possible interests of them 



VI PEEPACE. 

that have past away in the well-being of those 
they have left behind ; till it feU, naturally, into 
the relation of certain experiences which almost 
everybody has had, more or less; and which 
were adduced to fortify the arguments of those 
who regard the future as less disjoined from 
the present than it is considered to be by Theo- 
logians generally. 

In short, we began to tell ghost stories ; and 
although some of the party professed an utter 
disbelief in apparitions, they proved to be as fertile 
as the behevers in their contributions — ^relating 
something that had happened to themselves or 
their friends, as having undonbtedly occurred, or to 
aU appearance, occurred — only, with the reserva- 
tion, that it must certainly have been a dream. 

The substance of these conversations fills the 
following pages, and I have told the stories as 
nearly as possible in the words of the original 
narrators. Of course, I am not permitted to give 
their names ; nobody chooses to confess, in print, 
that he or anybody belonging to him, has seen a 
ghost, or believes that he has seen one. There 



PBEFACE. VU 

is a sort of odium attached to the imputation, 
that scarcely anyone seems equal to encounter ; 
and no wonder, when wise people listen to the 
avowal with such strange incredulity, and pro- 
nounce you at the best a superstitious fool, or a 
patient afflicted with spectral Ulusions. 

Under these circumstances, whether I have 
ever seen a ghost, myself, I must decline con- 
fiding to the pubUc ; but I take almost as 
courageous a step in avowing my entire and con- 
tinued beUef in the fact that others do occasion- 
ally see these things ; and I assert, that most of 
those who related the events contained in the 
ensuing pages of this work, confessed to me their 
absolute conviction that they or their Mends had 
actually seen and heard what they said they did. 
Some of the company related curious tradi- 
tions and legends connected with their fiEunily 
annals ; and these form the second part of this 
little book, which I hope may prove a not unin- 
teresting companion for a Christmas fireside. 

CATHERINE CROWE. 
15th October, 1858. 



GHOST STOEIES 



AND 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 



ROUND THE FIRE. 

FI&ST EVENING. 

*' But there ate no ghosts now," objected Mr. R. 

" Quite the contrary/* said I ; " I have no 
doubt there is nobody in this circle who has 
not either had some experience of the sort in 
his own petson, or been made a confidant of 
such experiences by friends whose word on any 
other subject he would feel it impossible to 
doubt." 

After some discussion on the existence of 
ghosts and cognate subjects, it was agreed that 
each should relate a story, restricting himself 
to circumstances that had either happened to 
himself or had been told him by somebody 
fully entitled to confidence, who had undergone 
the experience. 

B 



Z GHOST STORIES AND 

We followed the order in which we were 
sitting, and Miss P. began as follows : — 

*'I was some years ago engaged to be 

married to an officer in the regiment. 

Circumstances connected with our families pre- 
vented the union taking place as early as we had 
expected; and in the mean while Captain S., 
whose regiment was in the West Indies, was 
ordered to join. I need not say that this separa- 
tion distressed us a good deal, but we consoled 
each other as well as we could by maintaining a 
constant correspondence ; though there were no 
steam packets in those days, and letters were 
much longer on their way and less certain in theii: 
arrival than they are now. Still I heard pretty 
regularly, and had no reason for the least 
imeasiness. 

" One day that I had been out shopping, and. 
had returned rather tired, I told my mother that 
I should go and lie down for an hour, for we 
were going out in the evening, and I was afraid 
I might have a head-ache, to which I am rather 
subject ; so I went up to my room, took down a 
book and threw myself on the bed to read or 
sleep as it might happen. I had read a page or 
two, and feeling drowsy had laid down the 



Volume in order to compose myself to sleep, when 
I was aroused by a knock at my chamber door. 

'* ' Couke in/ 1 said, without tm*mng my head, 
for I thought it was the maid come to fetch the 
dress I was going to wear in the evening. 

'* I heard the door open and a person enter^ 
but the foot was not her^s ; and then I looked 
round and saw that it was Captain S. What 
came over me then I can't tell you. I knew 
little of mesmerism at that p^iod, but I hare 
smce thought that when a spirit appears, it must 
have some power of mesmerising the spectator ; 
for I have heard other people who had been in 
similar situations describe very much what I 
experienced myself. I was perfectly calm, not 
in the least frightened or surprised, but trans- 
fixed. Of course, had I remained in my normal 
state, I sh(^d either have been amazed at seeing 
Captain S. so unexpectedly, especially in my 
chamber; or if I believed it an apparition, I 
should have been dreadfully distressed and 
alarmed; but I was neither; and I can't say 
whether I thought it himself or his ghosts I was^ 
passive, and my mind accepted the phenomenon 
without question of how such at thing could be. 

'' Captain S. approached the bedside, and 

fi 2 



4 GHOST 8TOKIE8 AND 

spoke to me exactly as he was in the habit of 
doing, and T answered him in the same manner. 
After the first greeting, he crossed the room to 
fetch a chair that stood by the dressing table; 
He wore his uniform, and when his back was 
turned, I remember distinctly seeing the seams 
of his coat behind. He brought the chair, and 
haying seated himself by the bed side, he con- 
versed with me for about half-an-hour ; he then 
rose and looking at his watch, said his time had ex- 
pired and he must go ; he bade me good bye and 
went out by the same door he had entered at. 

** The moment it closed on him, I knew what 
had happened ; if my hypothesis be correct, his 
power over me ceased when he disappeared and 
I returned to my normal state. I screamed, and 
seized the bell rope which I rang with such 
violence that I broke it. My mother, who was 
in the room underneath, rushed up stairs, fol- 
lowed by the servants. They found me on the 
floor in a fainting state, and for some time I was 
unable to communicate the cause of my agitation. 
At length, being somewhat calmed, I desired the 
servants might leave the room, and then I told 
my mother what had happened. Of course, she 
thought it was a dream ; in vain I assured her 



f AMILT LSGBNBS. 5 

it was not, and pointed to the chair which, won* 
derful to say, had been actuary brought to the 
bedside by the spirit — ^there it stood exactly a^ 
ib had been placed by him ; luckily nobody had 
moved it I said, you know where that chair 
usually stands ; when you were up here a little 
while ago it was in its usual place — so it was 
when I lay down — I nevar moved it; it was 
placed there by Captain S* 

"My mother was greatly perplexed; she 
found me so confident and clear ; yet, the thing 
appeared to her impossible. 

"From that time, I only thought of Captain 
S, as one departed from this life; suspense 
and its agonies were spared me. I was certain. 
Accordingly, about a month afterwards, when 

one morning Major B. of the regiment 

sent in his card, T said to my mother, 'Now 
you'll see; he comes to tell me of Henry's 
death.' 

" It was so. Captain S. had died of fever on 
the day he paid me that mysterious visit.^' 

We asked Miss P. if any similar circumstance 
had ever occurred to her before or since. 

" Never," she answered ; "I never saw any- 
thing of the sprt but on that occasion/' 



fi OHOST flTOUBS AN9 

** 1 h^ve HO experience of my own to relate/*" 
g$dd Pr. W., *' but in the course of my late tour 
ia Booilmd, I went amongst other places to Skye, 
m^ I found the wbc^e islaml talking of an event 
thc^t h^ just happened there^ which may per- 
haps intareit you. There was a tradesman in 
Portree of the name of Bobertson ; I believe he 
was a sort of gener&I dealer^ as shopkeepers fre^ 
quently are in those remote localities. Whatever 
his business was, however^ it frequently took him 
to the other islwds o? the mainland to make 
purchases. He had arranged to go on one of 
these exi>edHions, I think to Raasa, when a friend 
called to inform him that a meeting of the inhabi- 
tants was to be held on some pubUc question in 
which he, Robertson, was much interested." 

"'You had better defer going till after 
IViday/ said Mr. Brown ; ' we can't do without 
you, and its very possible you may not get back 
in time.* 

" ^ Oh, yes, I can do all my business, and be 
back very well on Thursday,* said Mr. Robert- 
son ; objecting that if he waited over Friday it 
would be no use going till Monday. Brown 
tried to persuade him to alter his plans, but in 
vain y ' however/ said he^ ' you may re^ on see^ 



IfAMiLT LBGENDS. 7 

mg me on Thursday, if you*ll look in, in the 
evening; as I would not miss the meeting on 
any account/ 

"This conversation took place at an early 
hour on Tuesday morning. Immediately after- 
wards Mr. Robertson bade his wife and children 
good»bye, and proceeded to the boat which left 
at eleven o'clock, having on board, besides him- 
self, two other passengers, and two boatmen. 

*' On Thursday evening, Mr. Brown, who had 
been busying himself in fortifying and encourag- 
ing their adherents against the next day, and had 
taken upon himself to answer for his friend 
Robertson's presence, as soon as he had finished 
business, set off to keep his appointment with the 
latter, anxious to ascertain that he was arrived. 

" His anxiety was soon relieved, for on his 
way he met him. 

" * Well, here you are,' said he, holding out 
his hand. 

" * Yes,' answered Robertson, not appearing 
to notice the hand, ' I have kept my promise.' 

" Upon that Mr. Brown introduced the subject 
of the meeting, and mentioned the hopes he had 
of carrying the question, with which Robertson 
seemed satisfied ; but as soon as possible turning 



8 GHOST STORIES AND 

the conversation into another direction, he began 
talking to his friend about his wife and children, 
and certain arrangements he had wished to be 
made respecting his property. 

"His mind seemed so much more en- 
grossed with these matters than the meeting, 
that little was said upon the latter subject, and 
Mr. Brown, having parted with him in the street, 
rather wondered why he chose such a moment to 
discuss, his private affaiiis. 

" The next morning, at the appointed hour, 
the principal inhabitants of the place assembled 
in a public room at the Tun. Brown, who wanted 
to say a word to Robertson, hngered at the door ; 
but as he did not come, he thought he must have 
arrived before himself, and went up stairs. 

" ' Is Robertson here ?' said he, on entering 
the room. 

" ' No,' said one, ' I'm afraid he's not come 
back from Raasa.' 

" ' Oh, yes,' said Brown, ' he'll be here ; I 
saw him yesterday eveuing.' 

" They then discoursed about the matter in 
hand for some time, till finding the chairman was 
about to proceed to business, Robertson's absence 
was again reverted to. 



ft 



PAMILT LEGENDS, 9^ 

***I know be*s come back/ said one, 'for 
I saw him standing at bis own door as I 
passed last night/ 

' He can't have forgotten it/ said another. 
* Certainly not, for we spoke of it last night/ 
said Brown. 

" ' Perhaps he's ill/ suggested somebody. 

" ' Just send your man to Mr. Robertson's,, 
and say we are waitmg for him/ said Brown to 
the landlord. 

" The landlord left the room to do so ; and, 
in the meantime, they proceeded to business. 

" Presently, the landlord re-entered the room, 
saying, that Mrs. Robertson answered that her 
husband had not returned from Raasa,^ and that 
she did not much expect he would be back till 
night. 

" ' Nonsense/ cried Brown, ' Why, I saw the 
man yesterday according to appointment, and 
had a long conversation with him.' 

" ' I am sure he's come back,' said one who 
had spoke before. *I was coming down the 
street on the other side of the way, and I saw 
him standing at the door with his apron on. 1 
should have crossed over to speak to him, but I. 
was in a hurry.' 

9 a 



10 G?OST STORES AM> 

^ ' It's extraordinary/ said the landlord r 
' Mrs. Robertson declares he's not come.' 

"Some jokes were then passed about the 
apparent defection of Eobertson from his spouse^ 
and the meeting concluded their business without 
him, his party being exceedingly annoyed at his 
absence, which they thought not fair to the 
cause. 

" * He should have given us his support/ 

" ' I suppose he has altered his opinions/ 

" ' Then he had better have said so.'^ 

" ^ It struck me, certainly, that he was rather 
hikewarm on the subject when I talked to him 
last night ; but on Tuesday I saw him just before 
he started, and he said he would not miss the 
meeting on any account. I'll go and look after 
him and know what he means/ 

" Accordingly, Brown proceeded to his 
friend's house> and- fouad Mrs. Eobertson and 
her children at dinner. 

"'Weel,. Mr. Brown,' she said,^ 'so your 
meeting's ov^r/ 

^*'Aye,' said he, "^but where's Robertson? 
Why didn't be keep his word with us ?' 

^' ' Why, you see, I dare say he meant to be 
back — indeed, I know he did : but business 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 11 

won't be neglected, and I suppose he could not 
manage it/ 

" ' Do you mean to say he's not come back 1' 
said Brown. 

" ' Sure, I do/ answered Mrs. R. * Of 
course, he'd have been at the meeting if he had/ 

" * But people saw him last night, standing 
at his own door,' answered the cautious Brown. 

" ' Na, na, Mr. Brown, don't you believe 
that,' said Mrs. R., laughing; they that say that 
had too much whiskey in their een.' 

" The children laughed at the idea of anybody 
seeing their father when he was at Raasa, and 
on the whole it was evident, that if John Robert- 
son had returned, it was unknown to his family. 
But what could be his reason for so strange a 
proceeding, and why, if he wanted to evade the 
meeting, had he needlessly shown himself at all ? 
Why not really stay away from Portree ? 

" However, Robertson did not appear ; and 
later in the day the landlord of the Tun said to 
Brown, as he was passing the door, * You must 
have been mistaken about seeing Mr. Robertson ; 
the boat from Raasa is not come in.^ 

" * Then he must have come over by some 
other, for I not only saw him but walked and 



L2 GHOST &TORIES AND 

talked with him. I can't, thmk. what he can 
mean by playing at Hide axxd Seek, in this 
way ?' 

" ' It's very extraordinary/ said the landlord^ 
' for I am expecting a hamper from Raasa ; and 
so, hearing from you that Mr. Robertson was^ 
come, I went dowa to inquire about it ; but they 
declare no boat of any sort has come in these two 
days ; the wind's right against them.' 

" ' I know the boat from Raasa is not come 
back,' said the porter ; ' foi: I saw Jenny McGiH 
just now, and she says her husband is not re- 
turned/ 

" ' Really you'll persuade me that I'm not in 
my right senses,' said the perplexed Brown. *If 
ever I saw Robertson in my life I saw him last 
night 1 1 was going to call upon him, as he had 
asked me to do , so before he went away; but I 
met him, not far from. my Qwu house -, and what 
is more, he told me of a thing I did not know 
before, regarding a. purchase he had made, and 
spoke of what he intended to do with it/ 

" ' It's most extraordinary/ said the landlord. 

" ' Eh^ sirs,' said ai; old fishwife, who was 
standing by, ' I wish it may not be John Robert- 
son's ghaist that ye saw, for the wind's sair agin 



IfAMILT LEOENBS; 13 

tbem, imd I'd a bad dream about Jamie McGill 
last night/ 

" They aU laughed ; but this was the first 
suggestion of the sort that had been made ; and 
though he would not confess it, Brown began 
to feel rather uncomfortable; the more so as 
several things were recalled to his memory that 
had not struck him at the time. He remem- 
bered that Robertson had avoided shaking hands 
with him, either on meeting or parting, as was 
his wont; he had even then been struck with 
the grave tone of his conversation, and with 
his choosing that particular moment for pressing 
on his friend's attention what did not appear to 
have any urgent interest at present. Then it 
occurred to him that he looked ill and sad — he 
had attributed tiiis to fatigue ; but now, putting 
everything together, he could not help feelirig a 
considerable degree of uneasiness. He kept 
hovering about Roberjtson's house, and from that 
to the shore all day ; went to bed at night quite 
nervous; and by the next afternoon the alarm 
had spre^ad and become universal. It was not 
without cause. 

" John Robertson never came back ; the boat 
had been lost — how, was not known, as all oii 






14 GHOST STORIES AlH) 

board had perished. However, Mr. Brown took 
upon himself to be the friend and guardian of the 
bereaved family ; and the information he received 
in that melancholy interview he was enabled to 
turn much to the advantage of their circum- 
stances." 

A very remarkable story," said I. 
Yes," answerd Dr. W. "very remarkable 
indeed, if true/' 

" And is it not true," I said, " remember, 
we are upon honour ; I should think it a very 
ill compliment if any one attempted to mystify 
us vrith an invented story." 

" I did not invent it, I assure you," replied 
Dr. W. ; " I give it you as it was given to me 
on the spot. If you ask me if I believe it, I 
can't say I do." 

^'Do you think the people who told you 
believed it ? " 

" They certainly appeared to do so.'^ 

" And did it seem generally believed ? " 

" I can't say but it did ; but of course, one 
must have wonderfully strong evidence before 
one could believe such a thing as that." 

''Granted; but unless you had seen the 
tiling yourself, you cannot have stronger evidence 



FAMILY LEGENBSr. 1^ 

of 8 phenomenon of that description, than that 
it was believed by those who had good reason to 
know the grounds of their belief. They were 
able to judge how far Mr. Brown was worthy of 
credit; and they had the advantage of having 
witnessed his demeanour at the pubhc meeting, 
when he asserted that he had walked and talked 
with Robertson, at a time he could not possibly 
know if he was telling a lie, that the man 
would not sooner or later return to confute 
him. Besides, as far as we see, it would have 
been a useless and wicked lie, inasmuch as it 
was calculated to make the man's family very 
uneasy. His subsequent conduct does not at 
all countenance the persuasion that he was capa- 
ble of such a proceeding.' 

"Certainly not; but you know the Scotch, 
ai'e very superstitious/* 

" I can't agi'ee with you ; the higher and 
lower classes of the towns are exactly similar in 
that respect to the same classes of England. In 
all countries the lower classes are more disposed 
to put faith in these things, because they believe 
in their traditions and adhere to the axiom that 
seeing is believing. The higher classes, on the 
other hand, are carefully educated not to believen 



Iff OHOST STORIES ANH 

HI sacb traditions and to reject the axiom that seed- 
ing is believing, if the thing seen is a ghost. 
Now I freely admit, that our senses often deceive 
us, and that we think we see what we do not ; 
every body with the slightest intelligence has, I 
suppose, learnt to distrust his own senses to a 
certain extent ; but why on one particular point 
we should reject their evidence altogether, I 
never could understand." 

"You have heard, I suppose of spectral 
illusions?" said the Doctor. 

" Of course I have, and admit their existence; 
but we have so many cases on our side, that 
doctrine will not cover, and it is so impossible for 
you to prove that any particular case of ghost 
seeing falls under that head, that it is no use dis- 
ousssing the subject. It complicates the difficulty 
I confess, but can never decide the question. I 
was going to say,, however, that the shopkeepers 
and middle classes of Scotland are anything but 
what you mean by superstitious — the class to 
whom Brown and Robertson belong, is the most 
hardbeaded, argumentative, and matter of fact in 
the kingdom; and their religion, which is 
eminently unimaginative, so far from inducing a 
belief in ghosts, would have a precisely opposite 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 17 

tendency, because ghosts do not form an article 
of belief in either the longer or shorter cate- 
chism. In the remoter districts of the High- 
lands, the people are said to have more of what 
you would call superstition ; but the same pecu- 
liarity is remarked in all mountainous regions ; 
and as it has never been satisfactorily accounted 
for^ we wijil npt enter into the discussion now/* 



19 



ROUND THE FIRE. 



SECOND EVENING. 



" After the doctor^s story, I fear mine will 
appear too trifling," said Mrs. M., " but as it is 
the only circumstance of the kind that ever hap- 
pened to myself, I prefer giving it you to any of 
the many stories I have heard. 

" About fifteen years ago, I was staying with 
some friends at a magnificent old seat in York- 
shire, and our host being very much crippled 
with the gout, was in the habit of driving about 
the park and neighbourhood in a low pony phae- 
ton, on which occasions, I often accompanied 
him. One of our favourite excursions was to the 
ruins of an old abbey just beyond the park, and 
we generally returned by a remarkably pretty 
rural lane leading to the village, or rather, smdl 
town of C. 

"One fine summer's evening we had just 
entered this lane, when seeing the hedges full of 
wild flowers, I asked my friend to let me alight 



20 GHOST STORIES AI9D 

and gather some; I walked on before the carriage 
picking honeysuckles and roses as I went along^ 
till I came to a gate that led into a field. It was 
a common country gate, with a post on each side, 
and on one ot these posts sat a large white cat, 
the finest animal of the kind I had ever seen ; 
and as I have a weakness for cats, I stopt to 
admire this sleek, fat puss, looking so wonder- 
fully comfortable in a- very uncomfortable position; 
the top of the post on which it was sitting, with 
its feet doubled up under it, being out of all 
proportion to its body, for no Angola ever rivalled 
ik in size* 

" ' Come on, gently,* I called to my friend, 
* here's such a magnificent cat '/ for I feared 
the approach of the phaeton would startle it away 
before he had seen it. 

"'* Where?' said he, pulling up his horse 
opposite the gate. 

" • There,' said I, pointing to the post, ' Is n't 
it a beauty ; I wonder if it would let me stroke 

itr 

" ' I see no cat,' said he. 

'' 'There on the post,' said I, 'but he declared 
he saw nothing, though puss sat there in perfect 
composure during this qolloquy.' 



ii 



IfAMlLY LfiQENDS. 2l 

' "^^ ' Don't you see the cat, James/ said I, in 
great perplexity to the groom. 

* Yes, ma'am; a large white cat on that post/ 
I thought my friend must be joking, or else 
losing his eye-sight, and I approached the cat, 
intending to take it in my arms, and carry it to 
the carriage ; but as I drew near, she jumped off 
the post, which was natural enough — but to my 
surprise she jumped into nothing — as she jumped 
she disappeared 1 no cat in the field— none in 
the lane — none in the ditch ! 

" * Where did she go, James ?' 

" ' I don't know, ma'am, I can't see her,' said 
the groom, standing up in his seat, and looking 
all round. 

" I was quite bewildered ; but still I had no 
glimmering of the truth ; and when I got into 
the carriage again, my firiend said he thought I 
and James were dreaming, and I retorted that I 
thought he must be going blind. 

" I had a commission to execute as we passed 
through the town, and I alighted for that purpose 
at the little haberdasher's ; and while they were 
serving me, I mentioned that I had seen a 
remarkably beautiful cat sitting on a gate in the 
lane ; and asked if they could tell me who it 



32 GH08T STORIES AI4D 

belonged to, adding, it was the largest cat I ever 
saw. 

" The owners of the shop, and two women who 
were making pm*chases, suspended their pro- 
ceedings, looked at each other, and then looked 
at me, evidently very much surprised. 

"'Was it a white cat, ma'am ?' said the 
mistress. 

" ' Yes, a white cat; a beautiful creature and — ' 

" ' Bless me !' cried two or three, *the lady's 
seen the WTiite Cat of C. It has n't been seen 
these twenty years.' 

" ' Master wishes to know if you'll soon be 
dope, ma'am ? The pony is getting restless,' said 
James. 

" Of course, I hurried out, and got into the 
carriage, telling my friend that the cat was well 
known to the people at C, and that it was twenty 
years old. 

" In those days, I believe, I never thought of 
ghosts, and least of all should I have thought of 
the ghost of a cat ; but two evenings afterwards, 
as we were driving down the lane, I again saw 
the cat in the same position, and again my 
companion could not see it, though the groom 
did. I alighted immediately, and went up to it. 



IfAMiLT LEGENDS. 28 

As I approached^ it turned its head^ and looked 
fall towards me with its soft^ mild eyes, and a 
kindly expression, like that of a loving dog ; and 
then, without moving from the post, it began to 
fade gradually away, as if it were a vapour, till 
it had quite disappeared. All this the groom 
saw as well as my^dl ; and now there could be 
no mistake as to what it was. A third time, i 
saw it in broad dayUght, and my curiosity 
greatly awakened, I resolved to make further 
inquiries amongst the inhabitants of G., but 
before I had an opportunity of doing so, I was 
summoned away by the death of my eldest child, 
and I have never been in that part of the world 
since. However, I once mentioned the cir- 
cumstance to a lady who was acquainted 
with that neighbourhood, and she said she had 
heard of the White Cat of C, but had never 
seen it. 

*' But as you may not think this story very 
interesting since it only relates to a cat, I will, if 
you please, tell you another, in which I was 
concerned, although I saw nothing myself/' 

"We shall be very happy," I said, "but I am 
far from thinking your story wanting in interest, 
in fact, to me it has a very peculiar interest. 



24 GHonr sromiBs Aim 

There are few friends so smceie as ibe airimah 
who have loved as, and none that I, for mj part^ 
more earnestly desire to see again. I have had 
two dogi, in my life, who contribnted much to 
my happiness whfle they lived, and never cansed 
me a sorrow till they died. Besides, there is a 
deep mystery in the being of these creatores, 
which prond man never seeks to unravel, or 
condescends to speculate on. What is their 
relation to the homan race? Why mre these 
spiritual germs embodied in those forms and 
made subject to man, that hard and cruel master ! 
who assumes to be their superiw, because he is 
endowed with some higher faculties, the most of 
which he grossly misuses. How beautiful are 
their characters when studied ? how wonderful 
their intelligence when cultivated ? how willing 
they are to serve us when kindly treated ? But 
man, by his cruelty, ignorance, laziness, and want 
of judgment, spoils their temper, blunts their 
intelligence, deteriorates their nature, and then 
punishes them for being what he himself has 
made them. Well might Chalmers exclaim, ' All 
nature groans beneath the cruelty of man/ Why 
are these creatures, sinless, as far as we see, 
placed here as the subjects of this barbarous, 



FAMILY L£G£NDSK 25 

unthinking tyrant? That has always appeared 
to me a solemn question/' 

After this little digression, Mrs. M. continued 
as follows :-«- 

" I had been travelling on the continent, and 
was staying at Brussels on my way home. The 
bedroom I occupied was within another, in which 
slept my faithful maid, Rachel, and one of my 
children. Z had been in bed sometime, and had 
not been to sleep, when I heard EacheFs voice, 
saying something which I did not distinctly hear, 
and before I could ask what it was, she uttered 
a cry that immediately brought me to her bedside. 
I found her in a state of violent agitation, and as 
soon as she w!as domposed enougb to sipeak, she 
told me that she had not been long in bed wl^n 
she heard a voice call her, which she supposed to 
be mine, and immediately afterwards, in the 
glass which was opposite the foot of the bed, she 
saw a figure in white, enter and proceed to the 
other end of the room. She concluded it was me 
in my night dress, and that I had only mentioned 
her name to ascertain if she was awake, fearing 
to disturb the child, who was restless, she lay 
still, and did not answer. The figure went back 
through the door, but presently returned again. 



26 ' GHOST STORIES AND 

and seemed to be looking about for something, 
whereupon she half sat up in bed ; when it 
approached, and laid its hand heavily on her 
knee, there was something painful in the pressure, 
and she exclaimed, ' Oh, don't do that ma'am !' 
but she had scarcely uttered the words when she 
discerned the features, and saw it was her sister. 
The phantom looked sadly at her, and then 
retreating to the opposite comer, disappeared. 
This circumstance, in spite of my arguments and 
suggestions that it was a dream, made a very 
painful impression on her; she felt sure some 
misfortune had happened, and so it proved ; her 
sister had died on that night, leaving a family of 
young children, about whom, in her last moments, 
she was very anxious." 

"Cases of that sort are very numerous," said 
Lady A., "I know of two which I can give upon 
perfectly good authority. A friend of mine was 
sitting a few years since in the drawing room at 
her country seat ; there was a door at each end, 
leading to other rooms, bbth of which were open. 
A slight rustle caused her to raise her eyes from 
her work, when she saw her nephew enter at one 
door, walk straight through, and out at the other. 
T^he young man was at college, and she had no 



^AHiLT LEGENDS. 27 

reason to expect Bim tiien, iDut concluding some 
unforeseen business had brought him, and that 
he was in search of her, she called — ' Arthur, 
here I am,' and pursued him into the adjoining 
room, and then into the hall. Receiving no 
answer, and not being able to find him in any 
direction, she rang for the servants, and inquired 
where he was ; but they did not know ; they 
had seen nothing of him. She insisted he had 
arrived, and he was sought for all over the house 
and grounds in vain. The thing remained per- 
fectly incomprehensible, till the post brought a 
letter, announcing that the young man had been 
drowned osq that day. 

" Another instance, equally well established, is 
that of Dr. C, of Dublin. He resided with his 
family some few miles from the city, I believe, at 
or near Howth, »nd when he returned in the 
evening after visiting his patients, he frequently, 
to save time, took a short cut across some sands, 
which m certain states of the tide were not 
always safe. Mrs. C. had often entreated him 
to relinquish this practice, and take the more 
circuitous way ; but he thought he was too well 
acquainted with the place to run any danger. 
One evening that they were expecting him, as 

c2 



28 6H0S1! STORIES AKD 

usual, to dinner, his brother, who was standing 
at the window, saw him arrive ; he rode a white 
horse, and was therefore a conspicuous object. 
When the dinner hour came, as he had not 
appeared in the drawing room, his brother and 
Mrs. C, to whom the latter had mentioned 
having seen him, desired the servants to seek 
him in his dressing room, and ask if he was 
ready. He was not in his room, nor was he any 
where to be found; neither had any of the 
servants seen him, nor was his horse in the 
stable. Mr. C, however, confident of his ar- 
rival, suggested that he might be gone to visit 
some sick person in the neighbourhood ; so they 
waited. But in vain; news presently arrived 
that horse and man had been drowned that 
evening in crossing the sands." 

There was scarcely any 'one present un- 
acquainted with examples of this kind of appear- 
ance amongst their family or friends, but Captain 
L. related to us a case still more curious and un- 
accountable that had happened to himself in In- 
dia when he was in the Himalaya. 

" I was just finishing my breakfast one morn- 
ing,'* said he, " when my servant entered and an- 
nounced a visitor. It was Captain P. B. of ours. 



PAMILT LEGENDS^. 20 

who came to invite me to a game of billiards: 
Our billiard-room was situated about a mile be- 
yond my quarter, and Captain B., who lived at the 
other extremity, had to pass my residence to go 
to it. 

'' * Are you going up there now ? * I said. 

" * Yes,' said he ; * will you come ? * 

" * Why, I can't come directly,' I answered ; 
* for I have a letter to write first ; but if you'll 
go on, I'll join you presently.' 

" He left me, and as soon as I had written my 
letter, I started for the billiard-room. When I 
entered it. Captain P. B. was not there, norj in- 
deed, anybody but the marker — which was not 
surprising, as it was earlier than we usually went 
there. 

' Where's Captain B ? ' I said, 
* Don't know, sir; he has not been here 
yet.' 

"* Not been here ? '^ 

*^ * No, sir, not to-day.' 

'^Thinking, that as I was not ready, he had filled 
up the interval by going somewhere else, I be- 
gan knocking about the balls ; every now and 
then looking out of the window, expecting to see 
lum approach]^ but when this had lasted up- 



u 
ti 



so 

waids of two houn, I beg^ to be imdicr iinp*^ 
tient, and was just thinkiitg of going awaj, when 
I saw him approadung with his wife in an open 
carriage horn an opposite direction. 

" 'A pretty fdlow tou are, to keep me kicking 
my heels here waiting for yon,' said I^ as he en- 
tered the room. 

" * Keep yoo waiting ! ' he said ; ' I ha^e not 
kept you waiting/ 

** ' Why, I've been here these two hours and 

more/ 

'' ' How was I to know that ; I did not know 
you were coming up here/ 

« < Why, I told you I'd come as soon as I had 
finished my letter/ 

" 'My dear fellow, what are you talking about ? ' 
exclaimed my friend, in evident surprise ; ' when 
did you tell me so ? I don't recollect making 
any appointment to meet you to-day/ 

" ' What ! not this morning, as you were pass- 
ing my quarter ? * said I, amazed in my turn. 
' Did'nt you ask me to come and play a game at 
billiards ; and did'nt I tell you I'd come as soon 
as I had finished my letter ? and I did/ 

"P. B. loked at me as if he thought I'd sud- 
denly becoiuo insane ; but as I suppose my coun« 



FAMILY LB6ENB9. 81 

tenance did not confirm that impression^ lie said, 
^ Here's some mistake ; when do you suppose I 
made this appointment with you ? ' 

" * Suppose ! ' I answered, rather indignant ; 
' what do you mean by suppose ? Did*nt you 
come into my quarter about three hours ago, just 
as I was finishing breakfast, and ask me to 
come up here and play a game at billiards with 
you?' 

" 'No ; it must have been somebody else. Who 
gave you the message P ' 

"* Message ! there was no message/ 1 answered, 
quite bewildered, * You came in yourself — ^you 
know you did. What's the use of trying to 
hoax one ? ' 

*' ' I don't know whether you are trying to hoax 
me! replied P. B. ; * but upon my soul I have 
not been in your quarter to-day; nor have I 
seen you at all, till I entered this room. More-» 
over, I went with my wife at an early hour to 
breakfast with Captain D., and we are now re- 
turning thence ; and I told the coachman to set 
me down here as he passed.' 

" This was most confounding ; and as we were 
both equally positive in what we asserted, we left 
the bilUard-room together, and proceeded to take 



GflOST STORIES AKD 

the testimony of my servant. On being asked 
who he had introduced when I was finishing 
breakfast, he unhesitatingly answered, Captain 
B. His account, in short, coincided entirely with 
tame. 

^' '■ Now then,' said Captain B, * as yon have 
your witness, you must hear mine,' and we went 
on to his quarter, where T repeived the most satis- 
factory and unimpeachable evidence, that what 
he said was correct. He had left home with 
Mrs. B. at six o'clock, and gone by appointment 
to breakfast with Captain D., who lived quite in 
a different direction to my quarter ; and Captain 
D. afterwards testified to his never having left his 
house till he stept into the carriage with his 
wife. 

"This event created a great sensation at the 
time; and people endeavoured by every means 
to explain it away, but nobody ever could. 
Captain B. did not like it at all ; and his wife 
and family were very much alarmed, but nothing 
ensued, and I believe he is alive and well at this 
moment.'* 

We next turned to Madame Von B., who said 
she knew so many cases of spiritual appearances, 
and occurrences of that nature, that she was 



9AMILT LEGENDS. 3$ 

father perplexed by the abundance of her recol- 
lections. Amongst these she selected the follow- 
lowing on account of its singularity : — 

" We resided a great deal on the continent 
before I was married, and my motter bad a fa- 
vourite maid, called Fran^oise, who lived with 
her many years — ^a most trustworthy, excellent 
creature, in whom she had the greatest con- 
fidence ; insonmch, that when I married, being 
very young and very inexperienced, as she was 
obliged to separate from me herself, she trans- 
ferred Frangoise to my service, considering her 
better able to. take care of me than anybody 
else; 

" I was living in Paris then, where Frangoise^ 
who was a native of Metz, had some relations 
settled in business, whom she often used to visit. 
She was generally very chatty when she returned 
from these people ; for I knew all her affairs, and 
through her, all their affairs ; and I took an in- 
terest in whatever concerned her or hers. 

" One Sunday evening, after she had been 
spending the afternoon, with this family, observ- 
ing that she was unusually silent, I said to her, 
while she was undressing me, * Well, Frangoise,. 
vhav'nt you anything to tell me ? How are yoni: 



34 6H08T STORIES AND 

friends ? Has Madame Pelletier got rid of her 
grippe ? * 

" Frangoise started as if I had awakened her 
out of a reverie, and said, ' Oh ! oui, Madame ; 
oui, merce ; elle se porte bien aujourd'hui/ 

" * And Monsieur Pelletier and the children, 
are they well ? ' 
^ " * Oui, Madame, merci ; ils se portent bien/ 

" These curt answers were so unlike those she 
generally gave me, that I was sure her mind was 
pre-occupied, and that something had happened 
since we parted in the morning ; so I turned 
round to look her in the face, saying * Mai8y 
quavez vous donCy Fran^oiae ? Quest ce quit 
ya?' 

" Then I saw what I had not observed before,^ 
that she was very pale, and that her cheeks had 
a glazed look, which showed that she had been 
crying. 

" * Mais, nm bonM Eranpoise,' I said ; ' vous 
avez quelque chose — est il arrive quelque malheur 
a Mete ? ' 

" ' C'est cela, Madame, '^ answered Frangoise,^ 
who had a brother there whom she had not seen 
for several years, but to whom she still continued 
affectionately attached. His name was Benoitj, 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 85 

and he was in a good service as garde forestier 
to a nobleman who possessed very extensive 
estates, prea de chez nous, as Fran^oise said. He 
had a wife and children ; and some time before 
the period I am referring to, Franfoise had told 
me, with great satisfaction, that in order to make 

him more comfortable, the Prince de M had 

given Benoit the privilege of gathering up all the 
dead wood in the forest to sell for firewood, which, 
as the estate was very large, rendered his situa* 
tion extremly profitable. When she said *c'est cela> 
Madame,' Fran^oise, who had just encased me in 
my dressing gown, sunk into a chair, and having 
declared that she was bete, ires bete, she gave way 
to a hearty good cry, after which, being some- 
what relieved, she told me the following strange 
story : — 

^* * You remember,* she said, * that the prince 
was so good as to give Benoit all the dead wood erf 
the forest — and a great thing it was for him and his 
family, as you will think, when I tell you it was 
worth upwards of two thousand francs a-year 
to him. In short, he was growing rich, and 
perhaps he was getting to think too much of his 
money and too little of the bon Dieu—oi aU 
events, this privilege which the prince gave him 



86 GHOST STOBIKS AND 

to make him comfortable, and which made hink 
a great man amongst the foresters, has been the 
cause of a dreadful calamity/ 

"* ' How ?' said L 

"'We never heard anything of what had 
happened/ said she, till yesterday, when Mons. 
Pellotier received a letter from Benoit's wife, and 
another from a cousin of ours, relating what I 
am going to tell you, and, saying that both he 
and his family had wished to keep ii secret; but 
that was no longer possible/ 

" ' Well, and what has happened ?' 

*''La chose la plus incroyable! Eh bien, 
Madame ; it* appears that one day last autumn, 
Benoit went out in the forest to gather the dead- 
wood. He had his cart with him, and as he 
gathered it he bound it into faggots and threw 
it in the cart. He had extended his search 
this day to a remote part of the forest, and found 
himself in a spot he did not remember to have 
visited* before ; indeed, it was evident to him that 
he had not, or he could not have escaped seeing 
an old wooden cross which was lying on the 
ground; and had apparently fallen into that re- 
cumbent position from old age. It was such a 
cross as is usually set up where a life has been 



FAMILT LEGENDI^. 8T 

lost, wliether by murder or suicide; or some* 
times when poor wanderers are frozen to death 
or lost' in the deep winter snows. He looked 
about for the grave, but saw no indication of 
one ; and he tried ta remember if any catastrophe 
had happened there in his time, but could recall 
none. He took up the cross and examined it. 
He saw that the wood was decayed, and it bore 
such marks of antiquity, that he had no doubt 
the person whose grave it had marked had died 
before he was bom— it boked as if it might be a 
hundred years old. 

" 'Eh bien,' said Franpoise, wiping her eyes, 
into which the tears kept starting, ' of course you 
will think that Benoit, or anybody in the world 
who had the fear of God before his eyes, as he 
could not. find the grave to replace it as it should 
be, would have laid it reverently down where he 
had found it, saying a prayer for the soul of the 
deceased ; but, alas ! the demon of avarice tempted 
him, and he had not the heart to forego that 
poor cross, but bound it up into a faggot with 
the rest of the dead wood he found there, and 
threw it into his cart r 

" ' Well, Franjoise,' said I, 'you know I am 
not a Catholic, but I respect the custom of erect- 



88 &HOST STORIES AI^D 

ing these crosses, and I do think your brother 
was very wrong; I suppose he has lost the 
prince's favour by such impious greediness/ 

"'Pire que 5a! worse than that/ she re* 
plied. ' It appears that while he was committing 
this wicked action, he felt an extraordinary chill 
come over him, which made him think that, 
though it had been a mild day, the evening must 
have suddenly turned very cold, and hastily 
throwing the faggot into his cart, he directed his 
steps homeward. But walk as he would, he still 
felt this chill down his back, so that he turned 
his head to look where the wind blew from, when 
he saw, with some dismay, a mysterious-looking 
figure following close upon his footsteps. It 
moved noiselessly on, and was covered with a 
sort of black mantle that prevented his discern- 
ing the features. Not liking its appearance, he 
jumped into the cart and drove home as fast as 
he could, without looking behind him; and 
when he got into his own farmyard he felt quite 
relieved, particularly, as when he alighted he saw 
no more of this unpleasant-looking stranger. So 
he began unloading his cart, taking out the fag- 
gots, one by one, and throwing them upon the 
ground ; but when he threw down the one that 



FAMILT LEGENDS^. 89 

contained tbe cross, be received a blow upon bis 
face, so sbarp tbat made bim stagger and invo^ 
luntarily sbout aloud. His wife and cbildreu 
were close by, but tbere was no one else to be 
seen -, and tbey would bave disbelieved bim and 
fancied be bad accidentally bit bimseK witb tbe 
faggot, but tbat tbey saw tbe distinct mark on 
bis cbeek of a blow given witb an open band. 
However, he went into supper perplexed and 
uncomfortable; but wben be went to bed tbis 
fearful pbantom stood by bis side, silent and ter- 
rible, visible to bim, but invisible to otbers. In 
sbort, madame, tbis awful figure baunted bim 
till, in spite of bis sbame, be resolved to consult 
our cousin Jerome about it/ 

" But Jerome laugbed, and s£ud it was all 
fancy and superstition. * You got frigbtened at 
baving brougbt away tbis poor devil's cross, and 
tben you fancy be's haunting you/ said he. 

'' But Benoit declared tbat he bad thought 
nothing about the cross, except that it would 
make fire wood, and that be had no more be*- 
lieved in ghosts than Jerome ; 'but now,* said be, 
' something must be done. I can get no sleep 
and am loosing my health ; if you can't help me, 
I must go to the priest and consult him.' 



4(y GHOST STORIES A^B 

« < Why don't you take back the cross and pufe 
it where you found it/ said Jerome. 

" ' Because I am afraid to touch it and dare 
not go to that part of the forest.' 

" * So Jerome who did not believe a word 
about the ghost, offered to go with him and re- 
place the cross. Benoit gladly accepted, more 
especially, as he said he saw the^ apparition stand- 
ing even then beside him, apparently, listening 
to the conversation. Jerome laughed at the idea; 
however, Benoit lifted the cross reverently into 
the cart and away they went into the forest 
When they reached the- spot, Benoit pointed out 
the tree under which he had found.it ; and as he 
was shaking and trembling, Jerome took up the 
cross and laid it on the ground, but as he did so 
he received a violent blow from an. invisible 
hand, and at the same moment saw Benoit fall 
to the ground. He thought he had been struck 
too, but it afterwards appeared that he had 
fainted from having seen the phantom with its 
upraised hand striking his cousin.' However, 
they left the cross and came away; but there 
was an end to Jerome's laughter, and he was 
afraid the apparition would now haunt him. 
Nothing of the sort happened ; but poor Benoit's 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 41 

health has been so shaken by this frightful 
occurrence that he cannot get the better of it ; 
his friends have advised change of scene, and he 
is coming to Paris next week/ 

"This was the story Frangoise told me, and 
in a few days I heard he had arrived and was 
staying with Mons. Pelletier ; but the shock had 
been too great for his nerves, and he died shortly 
after. They assured me that previous to that 
fatal expedition into the forest, he had been a 
hale, hearty man, totally exempt from super-, 
stitious fancies of any sort ; and in. short, wholly 
devoted to advancing his worldly prosperity andJ 
getting money," 



4a 



ROUND THE FIRE. 

THIRD EVENING. 

" I don't know that I could tell you anything 
interesting in the way of Ghost Stories ; I have 
never attended to them, though I have heard a 
great many/' said Colonel C. ; " but I can tell 
you an extraordinary circumstance which may^ 
perhaps, be considered of a spiritual nature, and 
which I can myself vouch for the truth of. 

" My father, when I was young, resided in the 
South of England — I shall not give the name of 
the place, nor oi the people immediately con* 
cerned, if these stories are to be published ; be- 
cause, for anything I know, some persons may 
survive ta whom the publication might give pain ; 
I lived there with him and my mother and sisters. 
Our house was on the road between two large 
towns,, situated about eight miles distant from 
each other ; and though we had a little ground 
and a short avenue in front, we were uot more 



44 GHOST STOEIES AND^ 

than half a quarter of a mile from the highway; 
Wlien all was still, we could distinctly hear the 
carts and carriages as they passed, and even dis- 
tinguish by the sound of the wheels what kind 
of vehicle it was» There w^as a carrier that plied, 
between these two towns, whom I will call Healy, 
and as everything we used we had from B., he 
was generally at our house three or four times a 
week ; in short, he did our marketings, in a great 
degree; my mother giving him an order, as he 
passed, for what he was to bring back; and 
many a time Healy has smuggled a novel front 
the circulating library for my sisters, or done little 
commissions for me that I could not so well 
manage for myself. All this made him a popular 
character with us, f6r he was very obliging ; but 
for all that, he did not bear the best of characters. 
It was his interest to be well' with us, and the 
gentry in general, who were his customers ; and 
he understood that too well to incur our ill-will ; 
but by his equals and inferiors he was looked 
upon with a less favourable eye. They had no- 
thing very positive to allege against him ; but 
they thought him a hard, griping, greedy man, 
who was hpnest in his dealings with us because.. 



^AMILt LS6£Ni)S. 45 

the slightest suspicion would have ruined his 
trade) but who would take an advantage when he 
tiiought no possible damage to himself could ac» 
crue from it. He was about forty years of age ; 
tall^ with a long face, prominent nose> and dark 
complexion ; his shoulders were round, but his 
frame was wiry, and he was reputed very 
strong. 

" One evening, between thirty and forty years 
ago, towards the beginning of winter, we were 
expecting Healy — ^my mother was solicitous about 
^ome provisions she had ordered for an approach- 
ing dinner-party ; and I was very anxious for the 
arrival of a cricket-bat that I wanted for use the 
day after the next. X3f course, long before the 
time he usually arrived, I was looking out for 
him, and fancying him late ; I said, * I wondered 
Healy was not come ! ' Upon which my father 
looked at his watch, and found that it wanted full 
half-an-hour of his time, which was nine o'clock ; 
sometimes, indeed, later, but never earlier. It 
was then exactly half-past eight ; and before my 
father had returned his watch into his pocket, 
one of my sisters exclaimed, ' Here he is ! ' and 
we heard the wheels coming up the avenue — we 



« 



46 GHOST STOEIES AND 

should have heard him before, but two of my 
sisters were practising a duet, which was to be 
produced at the approaching festivity, and 
drowned the sound. 

" Thereupon, I and my mother left the room, 
and went towards the back door, where Healy 
had just aUghted, and was bringing sundry pack- 
ages into the kitchen. 

' Have you got my bat, Healy ? * said I, 
* No, sir,' he replied ; * there was n't one in 
the whole town the size you wanted ; but I'll 
bring you one from S. as I pass to-morrow. 
I know they've got 'em there. I believe 
that's ail. Ma'am?' he added, addressing my 
mother. 

" She said she believed it was, and was going 
to pay him his week's account, which she had 
asked j&)r, but he hurried out, saying, * Another 
time, if you please. Ma'am ; I'm rather late to- 
night ; ' and he was in his cart and away before 
I had time to give him some directions in regard 
to the bat. 

'^ ' What a hurry he's in ! ' I said ; ' and it 
wants almost twenty minutes to nine now.' 

" * I suppose he has a great many places to 



rAMILT LB6END8. 47 

stop- at/ said my mother ; ' if he don't get all his 
parcels delivered before people are gone to bed, 
he gets into trouble sometimes. He's a very 
punctual fellow certainly/ 

" We returned to the drawing-room, and re- 
sumed our occupations ; and about half-an-hour 
afterwards — happening to be all silent at the mo- 
ment, we heard a pair of light wheels and a brisk 
trotting horse passing in the road. 

" ' That's farmer Gould's mare, I'm sure,' said 
I. * What a famous trotter she is ! ' 

" ' Yes,' said my father ; ' I wish he'd part 
with her. I made him an offer the other day. 
I should like her for my buggy.' 

' And what did he say ? Won't he sell her ?' 
' He said nothing — he only laughed, _^ and 
shook his fat sides.' 

" * Money is no object to him,' said my mother, 
' he won't part with her unless he gets another 
he likes better.' 

" We breakfasted at nine o'clock, and I was 
getting up, and about half dressed, when one of 
my sisters burst into my room, crying, * La ! 
Fred., such a shocking thing has happened! poor 
Farmer Gould was found dead in the road this 



t< 



€i 



48 GH08T STORIES AND 

morning ; they think his horse ran away, for it's 
not to be found ; and the chaise was upset and 
lying on its side. How lucky, papa did not get 
the mare !' 

"*' ' Who says so ?' said I. 

" * The postman;' she answered, * he saw some 
labourers standing round something in the road ; 
and when he came up to them, he found it was 
the chaise, and poor -farmer Gould quite dead 
beside it V 

" When I got down stairs I found the whole 
house occupied writh the subject of this sad 
accident, all lamenting the good man, who was a 
general favourite, and agreeing that, for so heavy 
a persoil> a two-wheeled carrij^ was very dan- 
gerous, as a fall was almost sure to be fatal. 

"My father said when he had finished his letters 
and papers he would walk up to the farm, and 
see if he could be of any use to poor Mrs. 
Gould ; I, with the curiosity of fifteen, begged 
to go with him ; and my mother improved the 
occasion by giving the governor a serious lecture 
about his love for high-trotting horses and 
buggies. 

" 1 expected Healy with my bat about eleven 



I-AMILY LEGENDS. 49 

o'clock, as he had nothing else to bring, I knew 
he wouldn't come up the avenue, but leave it at a 
cottage near our gate ; and wishing to learn if 
he'd heard any particulars about the accident, I 
walked down to meet him when the hour ap- 
proached. Presently, I saw him coming, sitting 
in front of his cart. 

" ' Well, Healy/ I said, ' is n't this a shocking 
thing about poor farmer Gould ? You've heard 
he was found dead in the road this morning ?' 

" ' Yes, Sir, the mare ran away, and pitched 
him out upon his head ; I can't say as ever I 
liked her myself ; but I've got your bat. Master 
Frederick ; a nice un too ; I would n't come 
away this morning till I'd got it.' 

" I thanked him, and he drove on, as if he had 
no time to lose in gossip, while I was untying 
the string of my parcel. 

" By the time my father and I reached Gould's 
farm, the doctor had arrived from B., and we 
heard he was examining the body in the parlom', 
where it had been laid by the labourers who 
found it. The chaise, too, was standing near the 
door, just as it had been wheeled up, and the 
mare, they told us, had been found in a neigh- 
bouring field, with the harness hanging about 

D 



4 



50 GHOST STOEIES AND 

her, and unhurt, except on the forehead, where 
she appeared to have had a violent blow. The 
farm men, standing about, said, that she had 
no doubt taken her head, and ran foul of 
something, and so pitched out Mr. Gould, and 
overturned the chaise ; which seemed likely 
enough. 

" My father said, he should like to see Mr, 
Wills, the surgeon ; so we stood about outside 
till he came. When he did, he looked very 
grave, as, indeed, befitted the occasion ; but in 
answer to my father's inquiries, he said, that he 
could give no decided opinion of the cause of 
death till he had investigated the case further ; 
and then he proceeded to examine the chaise, 
and next the horse. He then walked with us 
down to the spot where the thing had happened, 
and narrowly surveyed the ground ; but he was 
very uncommunicative, which, as we knew him 
well, rather surprised us. He hurried away, 
saying, that he must prepare for the inquest on 
the following day. 

" My father went to the inquest ; and I should 
have liked to go, too, but I was engaged to play 
a match at cricket with a few of my young 
neighbours. However, I was home first, for the 



FAMILY liEGENBS. 51 

inquest lasted a long time, and took a very 
unexpected turn. 

"It appeared that Mr. Wills, who was by 
marriage a connexion of Gould's wife, had sus- 
pected on the first examination of the body that 
the farmer had not come fairly by his end. It 
so happened that Gould had dined with him the 
last day he was at B., and had mentioned to him 
that he had ' at last got that seventy pounds 
that he was afraid he should never see ;' alluding 
to some money that had been long owing to 
him ; and as he spoke, he drew from his pocket 
a bundle of notes, some of which appeared to 
be of the Bank of England, and some of country 
banks. As soon, therefore, as Wills had arrived 
at certain conclusions, he inquired of Mrs. Gould 
if she had found his money safe. 

" In her grief and surprise it had not occurred 
to her to search — and indeed she was not aware 
of his having any sum of importance about him. 
They proceeded immediately to examine his 
pockets, but no notes were there; a few shillings, 
a silver watch, and some unconsidered trifles, 
were all that was found about him. Mr. Wills 
made inquiries at the banker's and others, at 
B., and by the time the inquest sat he was 

d2 



52 GHOST 8T0EIES AlTD 

prepared to say, that there was every reason to 
think that Mr. Gould had had this money in 
his waistcoat pocket, where he had seen him 
deposit it, at the time he left to return home. 

" This presented quite a new view of the case 
to the coroner, who had come there without the 
slightest suspicion of anything beyond an accident. 
The labourers were examined as to the attitude 
in which they had discovered the body, which, 
they all agreed, was lying on its face ; and indeed 
there were some stains from the dirt of the road, 
which testified to this being the case ; yet, ac- 
cording to Mr. Wills, death had been occasioned 
by a terrible blow on the back of the head which 
had fractured the skull; and which, in his 
opinion, was inflicted by a heavy bludgeon. The 
man's hair was very thick behind ; but on divid- 
ing it a wound was visible, from which a small 
quantity of blood had oozed and dried up. 

" After a long investigation, the inquest was 
adjourned for a few days in order that further 
evidence might be collected. We were all much 
excited about this afiair ; it formed the staple of 
conversation at our dinner party, and various 
were the conjectures formed as to who was the 
criminal, if criminal there were ; for some thought 



TAMILT LEGENDS. 58 

it possible that Gould had fallen on his back in 
the first instance, and then got upon his legs, and 
fidlen a second time on his face ; but Mr. Wills 
was confident the death wound was not the re- 
salt of a fiEtll ; and besides, where was the money? 
Then all agreed, that if he had been robbed, it was 
by no ordinary thief; it must have been by some 
one who knew the sum he had in his pocket, and 
who did not care for the loose silver and the watch. 

** * No doubt,' said my father, ' they will find 
out if anybody was present when the money was 
paid to him, or he may have told somebody of it, 
as he told Wills/ 

" We had so many things provided for the 
party, that for two or three days we wanted 
nothing of Healy and did not see him ; but the 
servants having mentioned that they wanted soap 
for the next week's washing, my mother sent a 
note to the cottage, where he always stopt to 
enquire for orders, desiring him to bring some 
on his return, and also a barrel of beer for the 
use of the kitchen . 

" When I heard the cart coming up the avenue, 
I went to the back door, to have a little gossip. 

" * Well Healy,' said I, as he rolled in the 
harrdi of beer ; * have you heard any news ? ' 



54 GHOST STORIES AI^D 

*' * No sir/ said he. 

" ' Nothing about farmer Gould ? ' I asked. 

" * No sir, nothing. Shall I put the beer 
ill the cellar ? ' he enquired. 

" This question being answered, I said, ' Did 
you meet anybody on the road that night ? ' 

" * Lord, sir, I meet loads of people as I never 
take any notice of. V\e enough to do to mind 
my own business/ 

" * You couldn't have been far off when he 
was attacked — for you know Mr. Wills says he's 
been killed by a blow on the back of the head, 
don't you?' 

" ' WeD, sir, I've heard so ; but how should 
he know ? He wasn't there, I suppose. Any- 
thing else wanted, sir ? ' 

" ' I believe not, Healy,' I said ; and he got 
into his cart and drove away while I went back 
to the drawing-room. 

" * What does Healy say ? ' asked my father. 
' Has he heard anything new about this affair ? ' 

" ' No, he says he hasn't, but he said very 
little and seemed rather sulky, I thought.' 

*^ ' By the bye, he couldn't have been far off 
when the thing happened ; for he had only been 
gone half-an-hour when we recognized the step 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 55 

of poor Gould's mare I recollect, and she'd soon 
overtake him.' 

'' ' So I told him ; and I asked him if he had 
met anybody on the road that night, but he said 
hfi'd plenty to do to mind his own business/ 

" My father who was reading the paper at 
the time, looked up at me over his spectacles ; 
and then fell into a reverie that lasted some 
minutes, but he said nothing; my mother ob- 
served that she thought Healy ought to be sum- 
moned as a witness; and my father rejoined, 
that no doubt he'd be examined. 

" On the following day the inquest was re- 
sumed; my father went early and had some 
private conversation with Mr. Wills and I waited 
outside amongst the assembled crowd, listening 
to their speculations and conjectures. Presently, 
the coroner arrived, and I went in with him and 
heard the whole of the evidence. That of Mr. 
Wills, and the labourers who found the body 
was the same as before. Then, as my father had 
conjectured, Healy was called; his face was 
famiUar to everybody in the room, and there was 
not one I should think who was not struck with 
the singularly sulky, dogged expression his fea- 
tures had assumed. There was no manifest 



56 OHOST STORIES. 

reason for it, for he was only summoned like 
other witnesses, and no breath of suspicion had 
been cast upon him ; at least, as far as we had 
heard. But he evidently came in a spirit of re- 
sistance and wound up for self-defence. He 
declared that he had not overtaken Mr. Gould on 
the night in question, and did not know he was 
on the road ; nor did he hear anything of what 
had happened till the next morning. He believed 
he had met some tramps on the road that night 
— two men and a woman — but he had not par- 
ticularly noticed them, and he did not recollect 
meeting anybody else. He had first heard of the 
accident at a shop where he had gone to buy a 
bat for Master C. When he said this, he looked 
up at me and our eyes met. I have often thought 
6f that look since. 

" The next witness was Mr. F., who had paid 
Gould the seventy pounds in notes ; and then a 
Mr. H. B., a solicitor, came forward and volun- 
teered the following evidence, which, he said, he 
should have given before, but that he had left 
home on the afternoon preceding this unfortunate 
business, and had only returned yesterday. He 
was acquainted with Gould ; and had met him 
at the door of the bank at B , as he himself 



IfAMILT LEGENDS. 57 

was on his way to the coach that was starting for 
E. Gould spoke to him, and said he had just 
got that seventy pounds ; and when he said so^ 
he clapt his hand on his pocket, implying it was 
there. He said, ' I came to pay it in here, but 
I see they're shut, and it does not signify ; I 
shall have to pay away a good deal of it next 
week ; this was all that passed, as I told him I 
must be off for I should lose the coach. Upon 
this, he was asked if anybody else had been pre- 
sent when Gould made this communication. He 
answered, that people had been passing to and 
fro, but he could not say whether they heard it. 
There was one person who he thought might, 
though he could not affirm that he did ; and that 
was Healy, the carrier, who was standing at the 
door of the tanner's shop, which is next to the 
bank, and examining some cricket bats that he 
had in his hand. Gould had spoken loud, as was 
his wont. 

" I saw Mr. Wills and my father exchange 
looks when this evidence was given, and then for 
the first time the question occurred to me, could 
Healy be the murderer ? I could hardly enter- 
tain the suspicion — ^it is so difficult to believe such 
a thing of a person one is having constant inteiv 

d3 



58 GHOST STORIES AND 

course with. Healy was recalled and asked if 
he remembered seeing Mr. Gould and the lawyer 
together on that day. He declared he did not. 

" The harness was afterwards produced ; and 
it appeared that the traces had been cut, which 
was a strong confirmation of the worst sus- 
picions. 

" The inquest was once more adjourned ; and 
Healy plied his trade as usual for the next two 
days, though everybody had a strange feeling 
towards him ; and he retained his dogged, sulky 
look; on the third night we missed him. We 

had expected a parcel from B , but he did 

not come ; and the next day we heard he had 
been an^ested on suspicion of being the mur- 
derer of Mr. Gould. A gentleman's servant, 
who had been out without leave to some festivity 

at B , and had come home and got in at the 

pantry window without being discovered, at last 
came forward, and said, that as he was going to 
the rendezvous, he had seen a cart, which he be- 
lieved to be Healy*s, though it was very dark, 
drawn right across the road ; the horse was out 
of the shafts and tied to a gate, for he nearly ran 
against him ; he did not see any person with the 
cart, but the driver might be behind it. It 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 59 

was just whera there are some large trees over- 
hanging the road, which made it darker than in 
other parts ; and a person driving would not see 
the obstruction till he was on it. He himself, 
thinking it was Healy, slipt quietly by, for he 
did not want to be recognised, as the carrier 
often came to his master's, and might have be- 
trayed him. He met a one-horse carriage about 
a couple of miles further on ; the horse was trot- 
ting pretty fast. He thought it was Mr. Gould, 
but he could not positively say, as the night was 
so dark. 

" The spot described was precisely where Mr. 
Gould's body was found ; and the man added, 
that it struck him when he met the gig, that if 
the cart had not moved out of the way, there 
would be an accident, and he should have 
warned the driver to look out, if he had not been 
upon a lark himself. 

" You may imagine the sensation created by 
this allegation in the neighbourhood, where the 
carrier was so well known. Till the spring assizes 

at E , where he was to be tried, it furnished 

the staple of conversation, and every fresh bit of 
evidence, for or against him, was eagerly repeated 
and canvassed. My father was summoned as a 



60 GH OST STOBISS AKD 

witness to the hour at which Healy had been at 
our house that night, and also to the recognising 
the foot of Mr. Gould's mare. The evidence 
was entirely circumstantial, as nobody had wit- 
nessed the murder, though murder there certainly 
had been ; nor was there anybody else to whom 
suspicion could attach. As for the tramps Healy 
said he had met, no trace of them could be 
found, nor did anyone appear to have seen such a 
party. 

" When all the evidence had been heard, my 
father said he felt considerable doubt what the 
verdict would be, and he really believed the jury 
were greatly perplexed ; but when Healy stood 
up, and in the most solemn manner said, ' I am 
innocent, my Lord ! I call God to witness, I 
am innocent ! May this right arm wither if I 
murdered the man ! ' So great an impression 
was made on the court, that, added to the prison- 
er's previous good character, every body saw he 
would be acquitted. 

" He was ; Healy went forth a free man, and 
we were all too glad to believe in his innocence, 
to dispute the justice of the verdict ; but lo ! the 
hand of the Lord was on him. He had called 
upon God to bear witness to his words ; and he 



VAMILT LE0BKD8. 61 

did. In three days from that time, Bichard 
Healy'a stalwart right arm was withered ! The 
muscles shrunk ; the skin dried up ; and it looked 
like the limb of a mummy I 

" Though a voice from Heaven testified against 
him, he could not be arraigned again for the 
same crime, and he remained at liberty. He 
attempted for a short time to carry on his busi- 
ness, but people ceased to employ him ; and his 
feeble arm could no longer lift the boxes and 
hampers with which his cart was wont to be 
loaded. He went about, avoided by every one 
but his own immediate connexions. I often met 
him, but he never looked me in the face ; indeed, 
he rarely, if ever, raised his eyes; his round 
shoulders grew rounder, till he came to stoop like 
an old man. He seemed to move under a heavy 
burthen that weighed him to the earth. 

" After an interval, however, he bought some 
property ; and in his old age — for he survived 
his trial several years — ^he was in prosperous cir- 
cumstances. But everybody said, 'Where did 
he get the money ? ' 

" We were all deeply interested in this singular 
story; and in reference to the withered arm, 



62 GHOST STOKIES AND 

Colonel C. said, that he should certainly not have 
believed it had he not seen it himself. 

^' I think, said I, that it was not so difficult 
to account for the phenomenon as at first appears. 
Had he been innocent, the solemn adjuration he 
uttered in court would have been justifiable in 
the eyes of God and man, and would have occa- 
sioned him no concern afterwards ; but he was 
guilty ; he had called upon God to bear witness 
to a lie, and, doubtless, the consciousness of this 
sacrilegious appeal filled him with horror and 
alarm. He would tremble lest his prayer should 
be heard and the curse fall upon him. These 
terrors would direct all his thoughts to his arm, 
and produce the very thing he feared ; for Sir 
Henry Holland asserts that the mind is capable 
of acting upon the body to such a degree, as 
sometimes to create disease in a particular part 
on which the attention is too intently fixed." 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 63 



ROUND THE FIRE. 



FOURTH EVENING. 



" The circumstance I am going to mention/' said 
Sir Charles L., " will appear very insignificant 
after these interesting narratives, but as it hap- 
pened very lately, you'll perhaps think it worth 
hearing. 

" I was Uving a few months ago in an hotel, 
the owner of which died while I was there. He 
had an apoplectic seizure, and expired shortly 
afterwards. A week before this happened, at a 
time he was supposed to be in perfect health, an 
acquaintance of the family called, and without 
giving any reason, requested his daughter not to 
attend a ball she was engaged to go to. The 
young lady did not take her advice ; but the 
visitor confided to another person that she had a 
particular reason for her request, which reason 
was as follows : — 

" The night before she called, she and her 



64 GHOST STORIES AKD 

husbaDd had retired to bed in a somewhat anxious 
state of mind respecting a near relative of theirs, 
who was very ill, and whom they had been 
visiting. The husband, however, soon fell asleep, 
but the wife lay thinking of the sick person, and 
the consequences that would ensue if she died, 
when her reflections were interrupted by seeing 
a bright spot of light suddenly appear upon the 
wall — that is, upon the wainscoat of her room. 
She looked about to see whence it proceeded ; 
there was no light burning, nor could any be 
reflected from the window; as she looked it 
increased in size, till, at last, it was as large as 
the frame of a picture; then there began to 
appear in the frame a form, gradually developed, 
till there was a perfect head and face, hair and 
all, distinctly visible. 

" Whilst this development was proceeding, she 
lay, as it were, transfixed ; she wanted to wake 
her husband, but she could neither speak nor 
move ; at length she seemed to burst the bonds, 
and cried to him to look, but as she spoke, the 
vision faded, and by the time he was sufficiently 
aroused there was nothing to be seen. 

" Both he and she interpreted this occurrence 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 66 

into a bad omen for their sick relative, and 
augored very ill of her case ; but the next mor- 
ning, as she was standing in her shop, she saw 
the hotel keeper pass to market, and he nodded 
to her, whereupon she turned to her husband, 
and exclaimed — ' That's the face I saw last night ! 
Sure nothing can be going to happen to him !' 

" I heard these circumstances from my servant ; 
and the unexpected seizure and death occurred 
within a few days/' 

"When I was at Weimar, about two years 
ago," said Mademoiselle G., " an accident oc- 
curred that occupied the attention of the whole 
place, and which seems to belong to the same 
class of phenomena as the story just related. 
The palace, called the Chateau, in Weimar, is at 
one end of the park, and at the other end is 
another chateau, called the Belvedere ; both are 
ducal residences, and an avenue runs from the 
one palace to the other. Opposite this avenue is 
the Russian chapel or Greek church — the present 
Dowager Duchess being a sister of the Emperor 
Nicholas — and in front of this chapel a sentinel 
is always posted. 

'' The Grand Duke, Charles Frederick, father 



66 GHOST STORIES AND 

of the present sovereign, was, at the period I 
allude to, residing at the Belvedere not well in 
health, but by no means alanningly ill, for had 
that been the case he would have been brought 
into Weimar, where etiquette requires that the 
sovereign should make his first and last appear- 
ance in this world — ^there he must be born, and 
there die, if possible. 

" One night the sentinel, who was standing at 
the entrance of the Russian chapel, was surprised 
to see, in the far distance, a long procession 
winding its way down the avenue from the Bel- 
vedere. As there was no stir in the town, for the 
night was far advanced, and as he had not heard 
of any solemnity in preparation, the man stared 
at it in mute wonder, but his amazement was re- 
doubled when it approached near enough for him 
to distinguish the individual objects to perceive 
that it was a State funeral, accompanied by the 
royal mourners, and all the pomp usual at these 
ceremonies ; the velvet pall bore the initials and 
arms of the duke, and following the bier was his 
favourite and well known horse, led by one of his 
attendants. Slowly and mournfully the proces- 
sion moved on till it reached the chapel; the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 67 

doors opened to admit the cortege ; it passed in ; 
and as the doors closed on this mysterious vision 
the soldier fell to the ground, where he was found 
in a state of insensibility when the guard was 
relieved. 

" Of course, nobody believed his story ; he was 
placed under arrest, severely punished, and had a 
nervous fever that brought him to the brink of the 
grave. 

" I was there when this happened, said Made- 
moiselle G., and it was the talk of the town ; 
almost everybody laughed at him ; but five days 
afterwards the Duke fell suddenly iU, and was 
found to be in so dangerous a state, that the 
physicians forbade his being removed into the 
town. He finally died at the Belvedere, and was 
buried in the Russian chapel, exactly in the man- 
ner pourtrayed by the shadowy forms seen by the 
sentinel, and there buried." 

We all agreed that these rehearsals, if we may 
so call them, are amongst the most perplexing of 
these very perplexing phenomena ; a very curious 
case of this description will be found in one of the 
letters inserted in the Appendix. 

'' My sister-in-law, Lady S./' said Lady R., 



68 GHOST STORIES AND 

" Told me, the other day, that during her late 
residence in St. Petersburg, she was intimately 
acquainted with a Prussian lady of high rank, to 
whom the following strange events occurred, an 
account of which she herself gave to my sister. 
This Prussian lady was sitting one morning in 
her boudoir, when she heard a rustling sound in 
the ante-room, which was divided by a portiere 
from the boudoir. The sound continuing, she 
rose and drew aside the curtain to ascertain the 
cause, when^ to her surprise, she saw a very pale 
man, in a Chasseur's uniform, standing in the 
middle of the room. She was about to speak to 
him, and inquire what he was doing there, when 
he retreated towards the window and vanished. 
Greatly alarmed, she sought her husband, and 
related what had occurred ; but he laughed at 
her, and desired her not to expose herself to ridi- 
cule by talking of it. Some days afterwards, 
whilst in the boudoir, she heard the same rustling 
noise near her, and on looking up, she saw the 
figure of the Chasseur suspended in the air be- 
tween the ceiling and the floor, with his legs 
dangling in the air. A scream brought her hus- 
band, who was in the adjoining room, and he 



PAMILY LEGENDS 69 

saw the figure as well as herself. Nevertheless, 
the fear of ridicule kept them silent ; but some 
time afterwards, when they had a party, one of 
the company exclaimed, ' Good Heavens ! This, 
I remember, is the very room that unfortunate 
Chasseurs hung himself in ! ' And then they 
learned that the house had been previously occu- 
pied by the Danish minister, and that a Chas- 
seur in his service had, from some cause or other, 
committed suicide/' 

" I don't know whether dreams are admissible," 
said Miss M. ; " but the sort of occurrences just 
related appear to me to be little removed from 
waking dreams. I know two cases of extra- 
ordinary dreaming, the authenticity of which I can 
answer for, if you would like to hear them." We 
accepted gladly, and the lady began as follows : — 

" My father was intimate with Mr. S. — whose 
name, perhaps, is known to you as the particular 
friend of Mr. Spencer Percival. This gentle- 
man, Mr. S., when he was a young man, had one 
night a remarkable dream, that he could not in 
any way account for — the circumstances having 
no relation to any previous event, train of thought, 
or conversation whatever. 



70 GHOST STORIES AND 

" He found himself, in his dream, on horse- 
back, in a very extensive forest ; he was alone, 
evening was drawing on, and he sought some 
place where he could pass the night. After rid- 
ing a little farther, he espied an inn ; he rode up 
to it and alighted, asking if they could give him 
lodging for the night, and stabling for his horse. 
They said ' yes,' and conducted him to an upper 
chamber. He ordered some refreshments, when 
it occurred to him that he should like to see how 
his horse was faring ; and he descended, in order 
to find his way to the stables ; in doing so, he 
got a gUmpse of some very ill-looking men in a 
side chamber, who seemed in close conference ; 
moreover, he thought he saw weapons lying on 
the table, and there were other circumstances 
which I do not precisely remember, the eflfect of 
which was to create alarm, and lead him to sus- 
pect he had fallen into a repairs de voleurs. 

" He saw his horse rubbed down and fed, and 
then re-ascended to take his refreshment ; betray- 
ing no suspicion of evil, but secretly resolved on 
flight. After his supper, he went down again, 
stood at the door, and pretended to stroll about. 
When he saw an opportunity, he went round to 



FAMILY LEGEI4DS. 71 

the stable, saddled his horse, and cautiously rode 
away. But he had not gone far, when he heard 
the tramp of horses' feet behind him, and from 
the pace they came, he felt sure he was pursued. 
He urged his horse forward, but the animal was 
not fresh — ^he had done his day's work already, 
and the pursuers were gaining on him, when he 
saw he was approaching a spot where two roads 
met. Which of the two should he follow ? He 
had nothing to guide him in his choice, and his 
life probably depended on his decision ! Sud- 
denly, a voice whispered in his ear, ' Take the 
right ! ' He did so, and shortly reached a house 
where he obtained shelter and protection. 

" When he awoke, the circumstances of his 
dream were so vividly impressed on his mind, that 
he could hardly believe the thing had not actually 
happened. He related it to his friends; and, 
for some days, thought a good deal of it ; but he 
was just entering into active life, and the impres- 
sion soon faded before the varied interests that 
absorbed him ; and the strange dream was entirely 
forgotten. 

"Many years afterwards, when he had 
reached middle age, he was travelling in Ger- 



72 GHOST STORIES AND 

many^ and in the course of an excursion he was 
making to see the country, he had occasion to 
cross a part of the Schwarzwald — the Black 
Forest. He was on horseback and alone ; he 
reached an inn, the aspect of which he fancied 
was familiar to him. Here he thought he might 
conveniently pass the night; so he alighted, 
ordered his supper, and then went to see his 
horse fed. On further acquaintance with the 
place, he did not like the look of it, and he saw 
suspicious-looking men hanging about. He re- 
solved to seek another resting-place ; and leaving 
some money on the table to pay for what he had 
had, he went down stairs, and after lounging about 
a little, strolled to the stable, saddled his horse, 
and rode off as quietly as he could. But he was 
missed and pursued, he heard the tramp of the 
horses as they gained upon him. At this critical 
moment, he saw he was approaching a place 
where the roads divided ; his life depended on 
which of the two he should take ; suddenly, and 
strange to say, though he had misty recollections 
of the scene, now for the first time, the dream of 
his youth clearly and vividly recurred to him. 
He remembered the voice that whispered, ' Take 



FAMILY LSOSNM. 7S 

the right !' He obeyed the hint, and his pur- 
suers soon gave up the chase. He found a cha- 
teau about half-a-mile from the turning; the 
owner of which hospitably received him. His 
host said there had been for some time unplea- 
sant suspicions with regard to the inn in ques- 
tion; and that, if he had taken the left hand 
road, he would have been quite at their 
mercy." 

This veiy curious dream reminded us of that 
of Dr. W., which I have related in the " Night 
Side of Nature;'* who in the same manner was 
saved from the attack of an infuriated bull, in his 
dream, having been shown where to fly for safety; 
but the case is less remarkable than that of Mr. 
S., as the dream occurred only the night before 
the danger presented itself. 

" The other dream I alluded to," said Miss M., 
'' is less curious on that account. Some friends 
of mine, who reside in the country, had an old 
nurse who had lived in the family many years, 
and for whom they had a great regard. When 
her services ceased to be required, she was settled 
in a cottage on the estate, where she lived very 
comfortably with her only daughter. The 



74 6£iOST StORIES AND 

daughter, hoWerer, inarried a nian who kept a 
turnpike some miles distant ; and one morning, 
jUst as the fanaily ^ere leaTing home on some 
expedition, the old woman arrived in considerable 
agitation, saying that she had had a frightful 
dream about her daughter, and that she was 
going ofT immediately to the place where she 
lived. The ladies endeavoured to dissuade her 
from walking all that way, merely on account of 
a dream. But she said she could not rest, and 
must go. They even promised that if she would 
wait till the following day they would drive her 
there in the carriage, in which there was now no 
room; if there had been they would have taken 
her, as their road lay not far from the spot. 

" With this offer they left her and went their 
way ; but her anxiety would not permit her to 
wait; and shortly afterri^ards she set off and 
walked all the distance to the turnpike. The 
motnent she ^rived- she saw reason to rejoice in 
her determination; she found hef daughter 
alone, her husband having been called away on 
business; and, said the young woman, I am 
dreadfully alarmed, for there is a quantity of 
money in the house. The farmers are accus- 



FAMTLT LEGENDS. ?5 

tomed to bring the money for their rent here 
twice a year, as it saye them several miles, and 
the agent always comes to fetch it on the same 
d«y. But a letter to my husband has just ar- 
rived from the agent to say, he can't come till 
to-morrow. Knowing his hand, I opened it ; and 
I am terrified, for the custom of leaving the 
money here is no secret ; and if it should get 
wind that it has not been fetched away, heaven 
knows what may happen. 

" The old woman then told her daughter that 
she had dreamed on the preceding night that 
some thieves had broken into the turnpike 
house, and robbed and murdered the inhabi- 
tants. 

" But what were these two helpless women 
to do, mutually confirmed in their apprehensions 
as they naturally were ? It was already late in 
the day ; there was no help near at hand, and 
besides they did not dare to separate in search 
of any. They watched anxiously for a taraveller, 
resolved to confide in the first resp^able one 
that passed, aud beg him to send assistance. 
But none came that they thought it safe to 
trust. Night approached ; and it being a little 

e2 



70 GHOST 8TORI£8 AHD 

frequented road, except on market days, every 
moment their hope of help declined. So. they 
did the best they could in this extremity ; they 
shut and barricaded the lower part of the house, 
^topping up the door and windows with every 
piece of furniture they had, and locked them- 
selves up, with the money, in an upper chamber, 
put out the light, and with a chink of the 
window open, they set themselves down to listen 
for the marauders whom they confidently ex- 
pected to arrive. 

" Nor were they disappointed ; about eleven 
o'clock their anxious ears distinguished the sound 
of approaching footsteps. Presently, they heard 
voices and the door was attempted; the men 
said they had lost their way, and on receiv- 
ing no answer they attempted to force an 
entrance. Then, the poor women knowing their 
poor defences would soon yield to violence, began 
to scream lustily from the window above ; and 
luckily not in vain. 

" It happened, that the family, who had gone 
•n some expedition of pleasure in the morning, 
was just then returning; their road lay within 
a quarter of a mile of the turnpike ; and in the 



VAMILT LEGENDS. 77 

silence of the night, the women's shrill voice 
reached their ears. They immediately desired 
the coachman to turn his horses heads in the 
direction the cries came from, and before the 
thieves had eflTected an entrance into the little 
fortification, they were scared by the sound of 
approaching wheels and took to flight/' 

" A dream of a very singular nature occurred 
to a young friend of mine," said Mr. S. " She 
was about fifteen at the time, and a schoolfellow 
who was going to be married had promised her 
that she should be one of the bridesmaids. The 
intended wedding was near at hand ; insomuch 
that the dresses and everything was prepared — 
in short, the fixing of the day was only delayed 
by some small matter of business that was not 
completed. My young friend, to whom the whole 
thing was an exciting novelty, while impatiently 
waiting for the affair to come off, dreamt, one 
night, that a person in a very unusual costume, 
presented himself at her bedside and informed her 
that he was Brutus ; and that he would reveal to 
her anything that she particularly desired to know ; 
whereupon she begged him to tell when Miss L. 
would be married. Brutus answered 'Paulo 



78 GHOST STORIES AND 

post Graecas Kalendas/ When she awoke in 
the morniug, she perfectly remembered the 
words ; but not having the most distant idea of 
their n^eaning she ran to her brother to enquire 
if he could explain them. He told her that they 
were equivalent to never. The prophecy was 
fulfilled ; obstacles entirely unforseen arose> and 
the couple were never united/* 

" Some years ago," said Dr. Forster, " two 
young friends erf mine were staying at Naples, 
when one of them told the other that he had on 
the preceding night, seen in his sleep, the face of 
a beautiful w<mian; but the features were dis- 
figured by a horrible expression — and that it was, 
somehow, impressed on bis mind that he was in 
danger, and that he must be on his guard 
against her. The conviction was so strong as to 
create considerable uneasiness, and he never 
went out without scrutinizing every female face 
he saw ; but some weeks past without any fulfil- 
ment of his dream or vision, And gradually the 
impression faded. However, be was one day on 
the Chiaja, surrounded by several people, who 
like himself, were observing a gang of convicts 
going to the Castle of St. Elmo ; when something 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 79 

occasioned him suddenly to turn his head, and 
there, close behind him, he recognized the beau- 
tiful face of his dream. By an instinctive impulse, 
he sprang aside, and at the same moment felt 
himself wounded in the back. The woman was 
seized and did not attempt to deny the act, but 
alleged that she had mistaken the young English- 
man for another person who had done her an 
irreparable injuiy, expressing great regret at 

also at having failed in the revenge she sought. 
He told me that the dream saved his life ; for 
that, had he not sprung aside, the wound would 
in all probability have been mortal." 



81 



ROUND THE FIRE. 



FIFTH EVENING. 



" I HAVE but one experience to relate/* said 
Miss D., the next speaker. "When I was a 
child, I and ray elder sister slept in two beds, 
placed close beside each other. We were in the 
country, and one night my father, going to the 
door, perceived an unusual light in the sky, and 
learnt on inquiry that there was a great fire a 
mile or two off. He said he'd go to see it, and 
the night being fine, my mother accompanied 
him, having first seen us safe in bed. She locked 
the chamber door, and took the key, thinking 
that every body would be out looking at the fire, 
and we might take the opportunity of playing 
tricks, for we were quite young at the time — not 
more than six or seven years old. 

*' After they were gone, we lay chattering, as 
children do, about our own little concerns, when 
our voices were suddenly arrested by terror. At 

e3 



82 GHOST STORIES AND 

the foot of my bed I perceived a figure, appa- 
rently kneeling, for I saw only the head — but 
that I saw distinctly — it looked dark and sad, 
and the eyes were intently fixed on me. I crept 
into my sister's bed, and neither of us dared to 
look up again till my mother returned, and came 
to see if we were asleep. We had not closed our 
eyes, and we told her what we had seen, agreeing 
perfectly in our account of it. The room was 
searched, but nothing unusual found. The incd- 
dent made a lasting impression on my sister and 
myself, and we both remember the face as if we 
had seen it but yesterday." 

One of the ladies pres^it mentioned a very 
similar circumstance occurring to herself, but as 
she was alone at the lime, she had always en- 
deavoured to believe it an illusion. 

" The first part of the story I am going to 
relate to you," said Dr. S., " was told me by an 
eminent man in my own profession, who had 
every ojqpoutunity of testing the truth of it; the 
latter part I give you on my own word. 

"Some years ago there was a house in the 
suburbs of Dublin that had remained a long time 
unoccupied, in consequence, it was said, of its 



FAMILY LS6END8. 83 

evil reputation — the report was, that it was 
haunted. People who had taken it got rid of it 
as soon as they could, and those who lived in the 
nei^bourhood afiObmed that they saw lights 
moving about the interior, and, sometimes, a 
lady in white standing at the window with a 
child in her arms, when they knew there was no 
living creature, except rats and mice, within the 
walls. The wise and learned laughed at these 
rumours ; but still the house remained empty, 
and was getting into a very dilapidated state. 

" The former owner of the house was dead. 
He was a miser or a misanthrope, or both ; at 
all events, for several years he had lived in it 
utterly alone, and scarcely ever seen by any body. 
It was rumoured that for a short time a young 
female had been occasionally observed by the 
neighbours, but she disappeared as suddenly as 
she had appeared, and nobody knew whence she 
came, nor wither she was gone. His life was a 
mystery, and whether merely on this account, or 
whether there were better grounds for it, there 
had certainly existed a prejudice against him. 
However, as I said, he had been dead some years, 
and the relative to whom the property had faUen 



84 GHOST STORIES AND 

on his decease was naturally very anxious to let 
the house, and offered it to any occupant at an 
ejxtremely low rent. 

" At length, a gentleman who wanted to es- 
tablish a manufactory, seeing that it would 
answer his purpose — for the premises were ex- 
tensive, and there was some garden ground 
behind — took it, and erected buildings on this 
waste ground for his workmen to inhabit. 
Between the new part and the old there was a 
long vestibule, or covered passage, by which they 
might pass from one to the other without exposing 
themselves to the weather. A large door, which 
was open by day and closed at night, divided this 
passage in two, and on one side there was a small 
room or office, where a clerk sat and kept the 
books and memoranda, of various sorts, incident 
to a considerable business. 

" However, the thing was scarcely set going 
and established before it reached the ears of the 
master that the workmen objected to pass the 
night on the premises ; the reason alleged being 
that they were disturbed and alarmed by various 
sounds, especially footsteps, and the banging of 
the heavy door in the vestibule which divided the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 85 

sleeping places from the workrooms. At first, 
the objection being thought absnrd, was not 
attended to ; next, it was supposed to be a trick 
of some of the workmen to frighten the others ; 
but when it became serious, and they began to 
act upon it, and steady, respectable men declared 
they heard these things, the master, still per- 
suaded it was some practical jokers amongst them 
mystifying the more simple, took measures, first* 
to ascertain if such sounds as they described were 
audible ; and next, to discover who made them. 
For this purpose he sat up himself, and his clerks 
sat up, and exactly as had been described, at one 
o'clock this clatter and banging of doors com- 
menced — that is, there was the sound ; for the 
doors remained immovable, and though they 
heard footsteps they could see nobody. 

" * Still,' said the manufacturer, who was not 
willing to be made the victim of this mischievous 
conspiracy, ' we must discover who it is ; and we 
shall, when they are more off their guard,' and 
for this purpose it was arranged that a relation of 
his own, a young man in whose discretion and 
courage he had great confidence should sleep in 
the office. 



86 GHOST STORIES AND 

"Accordingly, a bed was prepared there; 
and he arranged himself for that night or as 
many future nights as it might be necessary ; de- 
termined not to relinquish the investigation till 
he had unravelled the mystery. 

" At dawn of day, the next morning, fiiere 
was a violent knocking at the outer door ; an 
early passenger had found this young man in the 
street, with nothing on but his night dress, and 
in a state of delirium. He was taken home and 
Dr. W, was sent for. The result was a brain 
fever ; but when he recovered, he said that he 
had gone to bed and ;to sleep, that he was wakened 
by a loud noise, and that just as he was about to 
rise to ascertain the cause, his door opened, and 
the apparition of a female dressed in white entered, 
and approached his bed side. He remembered 
no more, but being seized with horror, supposed 
he had got out of the window into the street, 
where he was found. 

" This was, certainly, very extraordinary and 
very serious ; still the persuasion that it was some 
mystification prevailed ; and Dr. W.'s offer to 
to pass a night in the office himself, was gladly 
accepted. He had informed me of the young 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 87 

man's illness and the cause of it ; and when I 
heard of his intention, I requested leave to bear 
him company. 

** The noise had not been interrupted by the 
catastrophe that had occurred, and nobody had 
slept in the office during the young man's con- 
finement. The bed had been removed, but we 
declined having it re-placed, for we wished our 
intention to remain a secret ; besides, we pre- 
ferred watching through the night. It was not 
till the workmen had all retired that we took up 
our position, accompanied by a sharp little terrier 
of mine, and each armed with a pistol. We took 
care to go over the house, to make sure that nobody 
was concealed in it ; and we examined every door 
and window to ascertain that it was secure. We 
had provided ourselves with refreshments also, to 
sustain our courage ; and we entered upon our vigil 
with great hopes of detecting the imposition. 

" Dr. W. is a most enlightened and agreeable 
companion, and we soon fell into a lively dis- 
cussion that carried us away so entirely, that, I 
believe, we had both ceased to think of the ob- 
ject of our watch, when we were recalled to it by 
the clock in the vestibule striking one ; and the 



88 GHOST STORIES AND 

loud bang that immediately followed, accompanied 
by the barking of our little dog, who had been 
aroused from a tranquil sleep by the uproar. W. 
and I seized our pistols, and rushed into the pas- 
sage, followed by the terrier. We saw nothing 
to account for the noise ; but we distitctly heard 
receding footsteps, which we hastened to piu'sue, 
at the same time urging on the dog ; but instead 
of running forward, he slunk behind, with his 
tail between his legs, and kept at our heels the 
whole way. On we went, distinctly hearing the 
footsteps preceding us along the vestibule, down 
some steps, and, finally, down some stairs that led 
to an unused cellar — in one corner of which lay 
a heap of rubbish. Here the sound ceased. We 
removed the rubbish, and under it lay some bones, 
which we recognised at once as parts of a human 
skeleton. On further examination, we ascertained 
that they were the remains of a female and a new- 
bom infant. 

" They were buried, and the men were no more 
disturbed with these mysterious noises. Who 
the woman was, w^as never ascertained ; nor was 
any further light thrown upon these strange cir- 
cumstances/' 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 89 

Some remarks on the tenor displayed bj 
animals, on these occasions, eficited a curious 
story from Mrs. L. " They not only seem to see 
sometimes/' she said, ''what we do not; but 
occasionally to be gifted with a singular fore- 
knowledge. 

" Many years ago," she continued, " I and my 
husband went to pay a visit in the north. I am 
Tcry fond of animals, and my attention was soon 
attracted by a dog that was not particularly hand- 
some, but seemed gifted with extraordinary intel- 
ligence. 

" * I see,' said my hostess, ' you are struck with 
that dog. Well, he is the most mysterious crea- 
ture ; he not only opens and shuts the door, and 
rings the bell, and does all sorts of wonderful 
things, but I am sure he understands every word 
we say, and that he knows as well what I am say- 
ing now as you do. Moreover, we got him in a 
very unaccountable manner. 

" * One night, not long ago, we had been out to 
dinner ; and on returning at a pretty late hour, 
we found the gentleman stretched out comfortably 
on the dining-room rug. Where in the world 
did this dog come from ? I said to the servants. 



90 GHOST SrOHIES ANB 

They could n't tell ; they declared the doors had 
been long shut, and that they had never set eyes 
on him till that minute/ 

^ ' Well/ 1 said, ' don't turn him out ; he'll no 
doubt be claimed by some one in the neighbour' 
hood — for he had quite the manners and air of a 
dog accustomed to good society ; and I liked his 
large, expressive eyes. He made himself quite 
at home ; and now we have discovered what a 
strangely intelUgent creature he is, I hope no one 
will claim him, for I should be very sorry to part 
with him. But/ added she, ' poor Mrs. X. can't 
endure him.' Mrs. X., I must mention, was a 
widow lady, also on a visit there, with an only 
son. 

" ' Why ? ' said I. 

" ' It is rather singular, certainly,' said she ; 
but whenever young X. is in the room, the dog 
never takes his eyes off his face — ^you see he has 
peculiar eyes — they're full of meaning ; and out 
of doors he does the same/ 

" * Perhaps the dog has taken a fancy to him ? ' 
I suggested. 

" * It does not seem to be that ; no, I think 
he likes me and Mrs. C. and my children a great 



7AMLLT LEGENDS. 91 

deal better. I can't tell what it is ; but if you 
vatdi, youll see it/ 

" I did, and it was really remarkable, and 
evidently annoyed Mrs. X. very much. The 
young man affected to laugh at it, but I don't 
think he liked it altogether. 

"Suddenly, one evening, Mrs. X. — whose 
visit was to have extended to some weeks longer, 
announced that she should take her departure in 
a few days. I suspected tMs move was occa- 
sioned by her desire to get away from the dog, 
and so did my hostess — and we both thought it 
absurd. 

" Mr. L. being obliged to return to London, 
we took our leave the morning after this an- 
nouncement was made; but we had scarcely 
arrived there, when a letter from my friend fol- 
lowed, toforming me that yoimg Mr, X. had been 
unfortunately drowned in the fish-pond, and that 
the dog had never been seen since the accident, 
though they had made inquiries and sought for 
him in every direction. Whence he came, or 
whither he went, they were never able to dis- 
cover. 

" But," said Mrs. L., " as this is not a ghost 



92 GHOST STORIES AND 

story, I will tell you another anecdote that be- 
longs more legitimately to the subjects you are 
treating of. Once, when we were travelling in 
the North, Mr. L. fell ill of a fever at Paisley. 
This detained us there, and the minister called on 
us. When Mr, L. recovered, we returned his 
visit ; and, in the course of conversation, some of 
the old customs of the Scotch fell under discus- 
sion ; amongst others the cutty stool, which we 
had heard still subsisted. 

"'Why don't you abolish it?' said Mr. L. 
* It would be much better to amend people by 
other influences than exposure.' 

" ^ Well, sir,' said the good man, * that was 
my opinion also ; and I had determined to do it. 
Before taking the step, however, I thought it ad- 
visable to publish my reasons ; and I was one 
day sitting at the table writing on the subject, 
when I looked up, and beheld my father, who 
was minister here before me, and died in this 
manse, sitting on the opposite side of the table.' 

"* Don't do any such thing, David,' said 
he; 'morality is loose enough; don't make it 
looser.' " 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 93 



ROUND THE FIRE. 

SIXTH EVENING. 

"The most interesting circumstance of the 
ghostly kind that I know, as really authentic," 
said Madame S., '^ is what happened to the late 
Lord C, when he was a young man—it is an 
old story, and you must have beard of the 
Madiant Boy ; but as I had it from a member of 
the family, perhaps you will accept it as my con- 
tribution. 

"Captain S., who was afterwards Lord C, 
when he was a young man, happened to be 
quartered in L-eland. He was fond of sport ; 
and one day the pursuit of game carried him so 
far that he lost his way. The weather, too, had 
become very rough, and in this strait he presented 
himself at the door of a gentleman's house, and 
sending in his card, requested shelter for the 
night. The hospitality of the Msh country 
gentry is proverbial; the master of the house 



94 GHOST STORIES AND 

received him warmly, said he feared he could not 
make him so comfortable as he could have wished, 
his house being full of visitors already — added to 
which, some strangers, driven by the inclemency 
of the night, had sought shelter before him, but 
that such accommodation as he could give he was 
heartily welcome to; whereupon he called his 
butler, and committing his guest to his good 
offices, told him he must put him up somewhere, 
and do the best he could for him. There was no 
lady, the gentleman being a widower. 

" Captain S. found the house crammed, and a 
very jolly party it was. His host invited him to 
stay, and promised him good shooting if he would 
prolong his visit a few days; and, in fine, he 
thought himself extremely fortunate to have fallen 
into such pleasant quarters. 

" At length, after an agreeable evening, they 
all retired to bed, and the butler conducted him 
to a large room, almost divested of furniture, but 
with a blazing peat fire in the grate, and a shake 
down on the floor, composed of cloaks and other 
heterogenous materials. 

" Nevertheless, to the tired limbs of Captain 
S., who had had a hard day's shooting, it looked 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 95 

very inviting ; but before he lay down, he thought 
it advisable to take off some of the fire, which was 
blazing up the chimney, in what he thought, an 
alarming manner. Having done this, he stretched 
himself upon the couch, and soon fell asleep. 

" He believed he had slept about a couple of 
hours when he awoke suddenly, and was startled 
by such a vivid light in the room, that he thought 
it was on fire, but on turning to look at the grate 
he saw the fire was out, though it was from the 
chimney the light proceeded. He sat up in bed, 
trying to discover what it was, when he perceived, 
gradually disclosing itself, the form of a beautiful 
naked boy, surrounded by a dazzling radiance. 
The boy looked at him earnestly, and then the 
vision faded, and all was dark. Captain S., so 
far from supposing what he had seen to be of a 
spiritual nature, had no doubt that the host, or 
the visitors, had been amusing themselves at his ex- 
pense, and trying to frighten him. Accordingly he 
felt indignant at the liberty ; and on the following 
morning, when he appeared at breakfast, he took 
care to evince his displeasure by the reserve of 
his demeanour, and by announcing his intention 
to depart immediately. The host expostulated. 



96 GHOST STORIES AND 

remindlDg him of his promise to stay and shoot. 
Captain S. coldly excused himself and, at length, 
the gentleman seeing something was wrong, took 
him aside, and pressed for an explanation ; 
whereupon Captain S., without entering into par- 
ticulars, said that he had been made the victim 
of a sort of practical joking that he thought quite 
unwarrantable with a stranger. 

" The gentleman considered this not impossible 
amongst a parcel of thoughtless young men, and 
appealed to them to make an apology ; but one 
and all, on honour, denied the impeachment. 
Suddenly, a thought seemed to strike him ; he 
clapt his hand to his forehead, uttered an excla- 
mation, and rang the bell. 

" * Hamilton,' said he to the butler, ' where 
did Captain S. sleep last night ?' 

" ' Well, Sir,' replied the man, in an apologetic 
tone,' ' you know every place was fuU — the gen- 
tlemen were lying on the floor, three or four in a 
room — so I gave him the Boys Boom ; but I lit 
a blazing fire to keep him from coming out.' 

" ' You were very wrong,' said the host, ' you 
know I have positively forbidden you to put any 
one there, and have taken the furniture out of 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 97 

the room to ensure its not being occupied/ Then 
retiring with Captain S., he informed him very 
gravely of the nature of the phenomenon he had 
seen ; and, at length, being pressed for further 
information, he confessed that there existed a 
tradition in his family, that whoever the Badiant 
Boy appeared to will rise to the summit of power ; 
and when he had reached the climax, will die a 
violent death, and I must say, he added, that the 
records that have been kept of his appearance go 
to confirm this persuasion. 

" I need not remind you," said Madam S., 
"what a remarkable confirmation was afforded by 
the life and death of Lord C." 

" I had never heard these particulars before ; 
but I had heard the story of Lord C.'s Badiant 
Boy alluded to, apropos of the case of the Rev. 
Mr. A., who saw a very similar apparition some 
years ago at C. Castle. I have related this case 
in the ' Night Side of Nature." I received the 
particulars from a relation of Mr. A.*s, who was 
himself surviving at the time I published it/' 

"It is curious," observed Mrs. E., "how 
many houses in the north of England where I 
have been lately residing have something of this 



98 GHOST STORIES AND 

sort attached to them. Some friends of mine not 
long ago heard of a very pretty place to let, and 
finding the rent unusually moderate they took it. 
They were delighted with their new residence ; 
and often wondered that the proprietor, with 
whom they were shghtly acquainted, did not either 
live there himself, or insist on more money for it. 

" After they had been there some time, his 
brother, that is, the brother of the proprietor, 
who did not Uve very far off, called one morning 
to see them; and asked them how they liked 
the place. They expressed their extreme satisfac- 
tion ; adding, * We wonder your brother does 
not live here himself.* 

*' * There are reasons why it does not suit our 
family/ he answered. 

" When he was going away, my friends pro- 
posed to walk through the grounds with him ; 
they had to cross a little brook not far from the 
house; and as they did so, a hare sprang past 
them and they all stopt and turned round to look 
at her, by which means they had a full view of 
the house. 

" ' Good Heavens ! ' exclaimed the visitor, 
' there she is ! ' 



FAMILY LEGENDS.* 99 

" * Where ? ' enquired my friend, thinking he 
alluded to the hare. 

" * Is any of your family ill ? ' asked the 
stranger. 

" ' No they answered ;' and following the di- 
rection of his eyes, they observed at one of the 
upper windows of the house, a female figure in 
white, and enveloped in what looked like grave 
clothes. 

"The visitor appearing much s^itated, my 
friend rushed back and ran up to the floor where 
the female had appeared ; and not only was there 
no one there, but he found that the window was 
that of a vestibule and much too high from the 
ground for any one to reach. 

" On returning to their visitor, he said * one 
of us will die before this year has expired ; it 
is an unfailing omen in our family, and caused 
us so much distress, that that is the real reason 
why we do not live here. But it concerns nobody 
but ourselves ; you will never be troubled by her 
visitations.' The destiny fell on the seer himself 
this time; he was dead before the year had expired. 

" Th^e is another house in the same part of 
the county, where sometime ago a young friend 

r 2 



100 GHOST STORIES AKD 

of mine, one of three sisters, went on a visit for a 
short time. The first night, after she got into 
bed, she was startled by the most terrific screams 
she ever heard, which appeared close to her door. 
She jumped ap and opened it, but there was 
nobody there. The next day she mentioned the 
circumstance, but the old lady she was visiting, 
said her ears must have deceived her, and turned 
the conversation ; but she heard it again several 
times, and was quite sure there was no mistake. 
When she went home she told her sisters, who 
laughed at her ; but each of them went to visit 
subsequently at the same house and heard precisely 
the same thing ; but as it was evidently an un* 
pleasant subject to their hostess, they could get 
no information on the subject." 

" A near relation of mine/' said Lord N., " is 
living in a place at present, where there is very 
much the same annoyance, and three families sue* 
cessively, had left the house in consequence of it. 
The building is lai^e, part of it very old, and it 
is surrounded by a fine park ; nevertheless, it has 
been found difficult to get a tenant — or, at least, 
to keep om . My relation was warned of the in- 
couvunittiimt Mim \m took it. It is said that a 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 101 

lady was murdered there by her husband ; at aH 
events, t][iere is one room — one of the best in the 
house, shut up, and never allowed to be opened. 
Whoever sleeps in the room under this, is liable 
to be disturbed by extraordinary noises — footsteps 
and moving of furniture, &c. ; but the most 
strange thing is, that every now and then a dread- 
ful piercing scream is heard through the house, 
that brings any strangers who happen to be 
there, out of their rooms, in terror, to enquire 
what has occurred. The family who resided 
there before, met the apparition of a lady occa- 
sionally, and left the place in consequence. My 
relations have never seen anything ; but every- 
body who stays there any time hears the screams. 
" Another relation of mine, a very religious 
person, and as she belongs to the free church of 
Scotland, most opposed to the beUef in ghosts, 
went some time since to pay a visit at an old 
place belonging to our family. On the morning 
after her arrival, she announced at breakfast that 
she was going away. She gave no reason, but 
went, to the consternation of her host. With 
much difficulty, he has since extracted from her, 
that in the night an apparition appeared at the 



102 GHOST STORIES AND 

fioot of her bed —a man dressed in an old- 
fashioned brown suit. He spoke to her, and some 
conversation passed — ^the subject of which she de- 
clares she will never disclose ; she says it was not 
a good spirit, and nothing would induce her to 
visit the place again. This house has always been 
said to be haunted, but this is the only instance 
I know of the family themselves seeing anything 
of the sort ; but no better evidence could be ad- 
duced of such a phenomenon than that of the 
lady in question. Nobody ever doubted her 
word, and a more confirmed disbeliever in ghosts 
never existed. 

" A rather curious thing happened to my- 
self lately," continued Lord N. "I went 
to visit some friends at the Lakes. As they 
had no vacant rooms, I engaged apart- 
ments near them for myself and servant. 
The house was small, quite modem, and as un- 
ghostly as possible. I always dined with my 
friends, and went to my lodgings about twelve 
o'clock, and T had been there five or six nights 
without anythiug unusual occurring. On the 
fourth or fifth evening, I had returned home 
rather earlier than usual, and instead of going to 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 103 

bed, I sat down to write a letter. While so en- 
gaged, I heard what I thought was a boy crack- 
ing a whip close to the drawing-room door. I paid 
no attention to it at first, though rather wondering 
at the hour chosen for the amusement. However, 
as it continued unintermittingly, and grew louder, 
I got up and opened the door, with the intention 
of desiring the child to go away. There was no 
one there. It then occurred to me that my ears 
must have deceived me, and that the sound might 
have proceeded from some explosive substance in 
my bed-room fire. The room was on the same 
floor, and the door shut ; but when I opened it, 
I found the fire almost out— certainly not in a 
state to produce the noises I had heard. I went 
forward to stir it, and while doing so, the whip 
was cracked over my shoulder. I turned round 
quickly, but could see nothing, and I returned to 
the drawing-room, and had just seated myself 
again, when I was amazed to see the table rise 
about a foot perpendicularly into the air, and at 
the same moment, both the candles that were on 
it went out, without being upset or even moved. 
There was a fire, so that I was not quite in the 
dark, and I re-lighted them; after which the 



104 GHOST STORIES ANP 

whip began cracking again vigorously^ and 
cracked on till I went to bed and afterwards. I 

stayed in these apartments a fortnight or three 
weeks longer ; and once, again, I heard the whip, 
but much fainter and for a shorter time ; and one 
night there were distinct rappings on the mantel- 
piece, and afterwards on the dressing-table. 

*' I could make no discovery in regard to these 
phenomena ; and I leave it to the company to 
decide whether they were of a spiritual nature or 
not. The only other thing of the sort that ever 
happened to me was this : — I was travelling on 
the Continent, and not being very well, was lying 
in bed, when I suddenly saw the door open, and 
two of my brothers walk through the room, 
dressed in deep mourning. I rang the bell 
furiously, and the people came, but could in noway 
explain what had happened. I shortly received 
letters, announcing that another brother had died 
at that time. 

"I will mention another instance that oc- 
curred in our family a few years since. During 
my grandfather's last illness, ail the family were 
assembled at K. Castle, except my brother John, 
with whom he was not on good terms. While 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 105 

we were living there, waiting to see what turn 
the illness would take, John died very unex- 
pectedly, but we resolved not to mention the 
circumstance to Lord A., as it might affect him 
injuriously; it was therefore kept a profound 
secret. 

" One day, some little time afterwards. Lord 
A. had been asleep in his arm-chair, and on wak^ 
ing, he suddenly exclaimed, ' I shall see John on 
Thursday ! ' This was on a Monday, and he 
died on the Thursday following." 

" A relation of mine," said Mrs. L., " had a 
friend with whom a great intimacy had subsisted 
for many years, but a subject of difference arose 
that embittered her feelings towards this lady to 
such a degree, that she felt reconcihation impos- 
sible. They continued to live in the same town, 
but all intercourse was at an end. 

'' One morning, lately, she was lying awake in 
her bed, when the door opened, and this lady 
came in ; approaching the bed side, she spoke in 
a friendly manner, and entered into explanations 
with regard to the misunderstanding. My rela- 
tion was not frightened during this interview ; 
but when it was over, and she was gone, she sus- 

F 3 



106 GH05T STORIES AND 

pected the nature of the visit. When her maid 
came to her room, she enquired if there had been 
airjr news of Miss — . The servant answered, 
none ; but presently afterwards, a person cdled 
to mention the lady^s death, which had taken 
place that morning/' 

" For my part," said Sir A. C, " I am ac- 
quainted with a circumstance that has settled 
entirely any doubts I might have entertained on 
the subject of ghosts. Not many miles from my 
place in S — shire,"there is a seat belonging to 
some connexions of my own. At the time I am 
about to refer to, an old lady was in possession^ 
and it so happened, that a matter of business 
•rose regarding the heirs of the property, which 
made it necessary to refer to the title deeds. To 
the surprise and dismay of the family they could 
not be found. A vigorous search was instituted. 
in vain ; and the circumstance so preyed on my 
old relation's mind that she at length committed 
suicide, under the impression that some one else 
would lay claim to the estate. 

'* After her death people complained that they 
could not live there — the place they said was 
haunted by this old lady, who, with her grey 



FAMILY L£G£ND8. 107 

hair dishevelled, and dressed exactly as she used 
to be in her life time, they described as walking 
about the house, looking into drawers and cup- 
boards, and incessantly searching for her deeds. 
We, of course, did not believe in the story, and 
were not even altogether convinced when the 
house, after being let to several strangers in suc- 
cession, who all gave it up on the same plea, 
seemed destined to remain without an inhabitant. 

"It had stood empty two or three years, though 
offered at a very low rent, when a lady and gen- 
tleman from the West Indies came into the 
neighbourhood to visit some acquaintance, and 
being in want of a residence, and hearing this 
was to be had on very reasonable terms, they 
proposed to take it. Their friends told them of 
the objection made by preceding tenants, but 
they laughed with scorn at the idea of losing so 
good a house on account of a ghost ; so they 
closed the bargain, took possession of the place, 
and sent for their family to join them. 

"The children, the youngest of whom was 
between three and four, and the eldest about ten, 
were, as a temporary arrangement, placed on the 
first night of their arrival to sleep in one room ; 



108 GHOST STORIES AND 

but the next morning, when their mother went 
at a very early hour to see how they were, to her 
surprise, she found them all wide awake. They 
were looking pale and weary, and began with one 
voice to complain that they had been kept awake 
all night by such a disagreeable old lady, who 
would keep coming into the room, and looking 
for something in the drawers. 'I told her I 
wished she'd go away,' said the eldest, 'and then 
she did go ; but she came back ; and we don't 
like her. Who is she, mamma ? Is she to live 
with us?' 

"They then, on being questioned, described 
her appearance, which exactly coincided with the 
account given by the former tenants. I can 
vouch for the truth of these circumstances ; and 
since these children had, certainly, never heard a 
word on the subject of the apparition, and had, 
indeed^ no idea that it was one, * I think the evi- 
dence,' said Sir A. C, 'is quite unexceptionable.' 

" I should say so, too, if it referred to any 
other question," said Mr. E., a barrister, who 
happened to be present when the story was 
related ; " but on the subject of ghosts I cannot 
think any evidence sufficient."^' 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 109 

" A state of mind by no means uncommon/' 
I said, " and which it is, of course, in vain to 
contend with. I can only wonder and admire 
the confidence that can venture to prejudge so 
interesting and important a subject of inquiry/' 



Ill 



ROUND THE FIRE. 

SEVENTH EVENING. 

" My story will be a very short one/' said Mrs* 
M. ; *' for I must tell you that though, like every 
body else, I have heard a great many ghost 
stories, and have met people who assured me 
they had seen such things, I cannot, for my own 
part, bring myself to believe in them ; but a cir- 
cumstance occurred when I was abroad, that you 
may perhaps consider of a ghostly nature, though 
I cannot. 

" I was travelling through Grermany, with no 
one but my maid — ^it was before the time of rail- 
ways, and on my road from Leipsic to Dresden, 
I stopt at an inn that appeared to have been long 
ago part of an aristocratic residence — a castle in 
short ; for there was a stone wall and battlements, 
and a tower at one side ; while the other was a 
prosaic-looking, square building that had evi-* 



112 GHOST STORIES A5D 

•dently been added in modem times. The inn 
stood at one end of a small village, in which some 
of the houses looked so antique that they might, 
I thought, be coeval with the castle itself. There 
were a good many travellers, but the host said he 
<X)uld accommodate me ; and when I asked to 
see my room, he led me up to the towers, and 
showed me a tolerably comfortable one. There 
were only two apartments on each floor; so I 
Bsked him if I could have the other for my maid, 
and he said yes, if no other traveller arrived. 
None came, and she slept there. 

'* I supped at the table d'hote, and retired to 
bed early, as I had an excursion to make on the 
following day ; and I was sufficiently tired with 
tny journey to fall asleep directly. 

" I don't know how long I had slept — but I 
think some hours, when I awoke quite suddenly, 
almost with a start, and beheld near the foot of 
the bed, the most hideous, dreadful-looking old 
woman, in an antique dress, that imagination can 
conceive. She seemed to be approaching me — 
not as if walking, but gliding, with her left arm 
and hand extended towards me. 

" ' Merciful God deliver me ! ' I exclaimed 



» 



— 'J 

»- ■» • 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 113 

under my first impulse of amazement ; and as 
I said the words she disappeared," 

" Then, though you don't beUeve in ghosts, 
you thought it was one when you saw it, 
said I. 

" I don't know what I thought — I admit I 
was a good deal frightened, and it was a long 
time before I fell asleep again. 

" In the morning," continued Mrs, M., " my 
maid knocked, and I told her to come in; 
but the door was locked, and I had to get out of 
bed to admit her— ^I thought I might have for- 
gotten to /asten it. As soon as I was up, I 
examined every part of the room, but I could find 
nothing to account for this intrusion. There 
was neither trap or moving pannel, or door that 
I could see, except the one I had locked. How- 
ever, I made up my mind not to speak of the 
circumstance, for I fancied I must have been de- 
ceived in supposing myself awake, and that it 
was only a dream ; more particularly as there was 
no light in my room, and I could not comprehend 
how I could have seen this woman. 

" I went out early, and was away the greater 
part of the day. When I returned I found more 



114 GHOST STORIES AND 

travellers had arrived, and that they had given the 
room next mine to a German lady and her 
daughter, who were at the table d'hote. I there- 
fore had a bed made up in my room for my maid ; 
and before I lay down, I searched thoroughly^ 
that I might be sure nobody was concealed 
there. 

"In the middle of the night — ^I suppose 
about the same time I had been disturbed on the 
preceding one — ^I and my maid were awakened 
by a piercing scream ; and I heard the voice of 
the Grerman girl in the adjoining room, exclaim- 
ing, ' Ach ! meine mutter ! mcine mutter ! ' 

"For some time afterwards I heard them 
titlking, and then I fell asleep — wondering, I con- 
fess, whether they had had a visit from the fright- 
ful old woman. They left me in no doubt the 
next morning. They came down to breakfast 
greatly excited — ^told everybody the cause — de- 
scribed the old woman exactly as I had seen her, 
and departed from the house incontinently, de- 
claring they would not stay there another hour.'*^ 

" What did the host say to it? '* we asked. 

" Nothing ; he said we must have dreamed 
it — and I suppose we did." 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 115 

" Your story," said I, *' reminds me of a very^ 
interesting letter which I received soon after the 
publication of * The Night side of Nature/ It 
was from a clergyman who gave his name, and 
said he was chaplain to a nobleman. He related 
that in a house he inhabited, or had inhabited, a 
lady had one evening gone up stairs, and seen^ 
to her amazement, in a room, the door of which 
was open, a lady in an antique dress, standing 
before a chest of drawers, and apparently examin* 
ing their contents. She stood still, wondering 
who this stranger could be, when the figure 
turned her face towards her, and, to her horror, 
she saw there were no eyes. Other members of 
the family saw the same apparition also. I be- 
lieve tliere were further particulars ; but I un- 
fortunately lost this letter, with some others, in 
the confusion of changing my residence. 

" The absence of eyes I take to be emble- 
matical of moral blindness ; for in the world of 
spirits there is no deceiving each other by false 
seemings ; as we are, so we appear." 

" Then," said Mrs. W. C, " the apparition— 
if it was an apparition — that two of my servants 
saw lately, must be in a very degraded 
state. 



116 GHOST STORIES AND 

" There is a road, and on one side of it a 
path, just beyond my garden wall. Not long 
ago two of my servants were in the dusk of the 
evening walking up this path, when they saw a 
large, dark object coming towards them. At 
first, they thought it was an animal ; and when 
it got close, one of them stretched out her hand 
to touch it ; but she could feel nothing, and it 
passed on between her and the garden wall, 
although there was no space^ the path being only 
wide enough for two ; and on looking back, they 
fsaw it walking down the hill behind them. Three 
. men were coming up on tlie path ; and as the thing 
approached, they jumped off into the road. 

'' ' Good heavens, what is that ! ' cried the 
women. 

'' ' I don't know,' replied the men ; ' I never 
saw such a thing as that before.' 

'' The women came home greatly agitated ; 
and we have since heard there is a tradition 
that the spot is haunted by the ghost of a man 
who was killed in a quarry close by." 

" I have travelled a great deal," said our next 
speaker, the Chevalier de La C. G. ; and, cer- 
tainly, I have never been in any country where 
instances of these spiritual appearances were not 



PAMILY LEGENDS. 117 

adduced on apparently credible authority. I 
have heard numerous stories of the sort, but the 
one that most readily occurs to me at present, 
was told to me not long ago, in Paris, by Count 
P. — the nephew of the celebrated Count P. whose 
name occurs in the history of the remarkable in- 
cidents connected with the death of the Emperor 
Paul. 

'' Count P., my authority for the following 
story, was attached to the Russian embassy; and 
he told me, one evening, when the conversation 
turned on the inconveniences of travelling in the 
East of Europe, that, on one occasion, when in 
Poland, he found himself about seven o'clock in 
an autumn evening on a forest road, where there 
was no possibility of finding a house of public 
entertainment within many miles. There was a 
frightful storm ; the road, not good at the best, 
was almost impracticable from the weather, and 
his horses were completely knocked up. On con- 
sulting his people what was best to be done, they 
said, that to go back was as impossible as to go 
forward ; but that by turning a little out of the 
main road, they should soon reach a castle where 
possibly shelter might be procured for the night* 



118 GH06T STORIES AKB 

The count gladly consented, and it \vas not long 
befinre they found themselves at the gate of what 
appeared a building on a very splendid scale. 
The courier quickly alighted and rang at the 
bell^ and while^aiting for admission, he enquired 
who the otstk belonged to, and was told that it 
was Count X's. 

"It was some time before the bell was 
answered, but at length an elderly man appeared 
at a wicket, with a lantern, and peeped out. On 
perceiving the equipage, he came forward and 
stept up to the carriage, holding the light aloft 
to discover who was inside. Count P. banded 
him his card, and explained his distress. 

" ' There is no one here, my lord,' replied the 
man, ' but myself and my family ; the castle is 
not inhabited/ 

"* That's bad news,' said the count; 'but 
nevertheless, you can give me what I am most in 
need of, and that is^-shelter for the night.' 

" ' Willingly,' said the man, * if your lord- 
ship will put up with such accommodation as we 
can hastily prepare.' 

" ' So,' said the count, ' I alighted and walked 
in ; and the old man unbarred the great gates to 



IfAMILT LEGENDS. 119 

admit my carriages and people. We found our- 
selves in an immense couer, with the castle en 
/ace, and stables and offices on each side. As we 
had a fourgon with us, with provender for the 
cattle and provisions for ourselves, we wanted 
nothing but beds and a good fire ; and as the 
only one lighted was in the old man's apartments, 
he first took us there. They consisted of a ^uite 
of small rooms in the left wing, that had probably 
been formerly occupied by the upper servants. 
They were comfortably furnished, and he and his 
large family appeared to be very well lodged. 
Besides the wife, there were three sons, with their 
wives and children, and two nieces ; and in a 
part of the offices, where I saw a light, I was told 
there were labourers and women servants, for it 
was a valuable estate, with a fine forest, and the 
sons acted as gardes cJuzsae. 

"'Is there much game in the forest?' I 
asked. 

'' - A great deal of all sorts,' they answered. 

" ' Then I suppose during the season the 
family live here ? ' 

" ' Never,' they replied. ' None of the family 
ever reside here.' 



120 GHOST STORIES AND 

" ' Indeed ! ' I said ; how is that ? It seems 
a very fine pkce/ 

" 'Superb/ answered the wifeof the custodian; 
* but the castle is haunted/ 

" She said this with a simple gravity that 
made me laugh ; upon which they all stared at 
me with the most edifying amazement. 

" ' I beg your pardon/ I said ; ' but you 
know, perhaps, in great cities, such as I usually 
inhabit, there are no ghosts/ 

" * Indeed ! ' said they. ' No ghosts ! ' 

" ' At least,' I said, ' I never heard of any ; 
and we don't beUeve in such things/ 

" They looked at each other with surprise, but 
said nothing ; not appearing to have any desire 
to convince me. * But do you mean to say, said 
I, ' that that is the reason the family don't live 
here, and that the castle is abandoned on that 
account ? ' 

"'Yes,' they replied, 'that is the reason 
nobody has resided here for many years/ 

" ' But how can you live here then ? ' 

" * We are never troubled in this part of the 
building,' said she. * We hear noises, but we 
are used to that.' 

" * Well, if there is a ghost, I hope I shall 
see it,' said I. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 121 

" ' God forbid ! ' said the woman, crossing her- 
self. * But we shaU guard against that ; your 
seigneurie will sleep not far from this, where you 
will be quite safe/ 

" * Oh ! ' but, said I, * I am quite serious, if 
there is a ghost, I should particularly like to see 
him, and I should be much obliged to you to put 
me in the apartments he most frequents/ \ ' 

" They opposed this proposition earnestly, and 
begged me not to think of if; besides, they said 
if any thing was to happen to my lord, how should 
they answer for it ; but as I insisted, the women 
went to call the members of the family who were 
lighting fires and preparing beds in some rooms 
on the same floor as they occupied themselves. 
When they came they were as earnest against 
the indulgence of my wishes as the women had 
been. Still I insisted. 

" ^ Are you afraid,' I said, ' to go yourselves 
in the haunted chambers ? * 

** ' No,' they answered. * We are the cus- 
todians of the castle and have to keep the rooms 
clean and well aired lest the furniture be spoiled — 
my lord talks always of removing it, but it has 

o 



122 GHOST STORIES AND 

never been removed yet — ^but we would not sleep 
up there for all the world/ 

" ' Then it is the upper floors that are 
haunted ? * 

" * Yes, especially the long room, no one 
could pass a night there ; the last that did is in 
a lunatic asylum now at Warsaw,' said the 
custodian. 

" ' What happened to him ? ' 

" ' I don't know,' said the man ; ' he was 
never able to tell.' 

" ' Who was he ? ' I asked. 

*' ' He was a lawyer. My lord did business 
with him ; and one day he was speaking of this 
place, and saying that it was a pity he was not 
at liberty to pull it down and sell the materials ; 
but he cannot, because it is family property and 
goes with the title; and the lawyer said he 
wished it was his, and that no ghost should keep 
him out of it. My lord said that it was easy for 
any one to say that who knew nothing about it, 
and that he must suppose the family had not 
abandoned such a fine place without good reasons. 
But the lawyer said it was some trick, and that 
it was coiners, or robbers, who had got a footing 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 

in the castle, and contrived to frigliten people 
away that they might keep it to themselves ; so 
my lord said if he could prove that he should be 
very much obliged to him, and more than thirt, 
he would give him a great sum — I dont know 
how much. So the lawyer said, he would ; and 
my lord wrote to me that he was coming ta 
inspect the property, and I was to let him do any 
thing he hked. 

" ' Well, he came, and with him his son, a fine 
joung man and a soldier. They asked me all 
5orts of questions, and went over the castle and 
examined every part of it. From what they said, 
I could see that they thought the ghost was all 
nonsense, and that I and my family were in col- 
lusion with the robbers or coiners. However, I 
did not care for that, my lord knew that the 
castle had been haunted before I was born. 

" ' I had prepared rooms on this floor for 
them — ^the same I am preparing for your lord- 
ship, and they slept there, keeping the keys of 
the upper rooms to themselves, so I did not 
interfere with them. But one morning, very 
early, we were awakened by some one knocking 
at our bedroom door, and when we opened it, 

g2 



124 GHOST 8T0EIES AND 

we saw Mr. Thaddeus — that was the lawyers 
son — standing there half-drest and as pale as a 
ghost ; and he said his father was very ill and he 
begged us to go to liim ; to our surprise he led 
us up stairs to the haunted chamber, and there 
we found the poor gentleman speechless, and we 
thought they had gone up there early and that 
he had had a stroke. But it was not so ; Mr. 
Thaddeus said, that after we were all in bed, they 
bad gone up there to pass the night. I know 
they thought that there was no ghost but us, and 
that's why they would not let us know their in- 
tention. They laid down upon some sofas, wrapt 
up in their fur cloaks, and resolved to keep 
awake, and they did so for some time, but at last 
the young man was overcome by drowsiness, he 
struggled against it, but could not conquer it, 
and the last thing he recollects was his father 
shaking him and saying ' Thaddeus, Thaddeus, 
for God's sake keep awake ! ' But he could not, 
and he knew no more till he woke and saw that 
day was breaking, and found his father sitting in 
a comer of the room speechless, and looking like 
a corpse ; and there he was when we went up. 
The young man thought he'd been taken ill or 



PAMILT LEGENDS. 125 

had a stroke, as we supposed at first ; but when 
we found they had passed the night in the 
haunted chambers, we had no doubt what had 
happened — he had seen some terrible sight and 
so lost his senses/ 

" He lost his senses, I should say, from 
terror when his son fell asleep, said I, and 
he felt himself alone. He could have been 
a man of no nerve. At all events, what you tell 
me raises my curiosity. Will you take me up 
stairs and shew me those rooms ? 

''* Willingly,' said the man, and fetching a 
bunch of keys and a light, and calling one of his 
sons to follow him with another, he led the way 
up the great staircase to a suite of apartments on 
the first floor. The rooms were lofty and large, 
and the man said the furniture was very hand- 
some, but old. Being all covered with canvas 
cases, I could not judge of it. ' Which is the 
long room ? ' I said. 

" Upon which he led me into a long narrow 
room that might rather have been called a gallery. 
There were sofas along each side, something like 
a dais at the upper end ; and several large pic- 
tures hanging on the walls . 



J26 GHOST STORIES AND 

" I had with me a bull dog, of a very fine 
breed, that had been given me in England by 
Lord F. She had followed me up stairs — indeed^ 
she followed me every where — and I watched her 
narrowly as she went smelling about, but there 
were no indications of her perceiving any thing 
extraordinary. Beyond this gallery there was^ 
only a small octagon room, with a door that led 
out upon another staircase. When I had ex« 
amined it all thoroughly, T returned to the long^ 
room and told the man, as that was the place 
especially frequented by the ghost, I should feel 
m-uch obliged if he would allow me to pass the 
niglit there. I could take upon myself to say 
that Count X., would have no objection. 

" ' It is not that,' replied the man ; ' but the 
danger to your lordship,' and he conjured me not 
to insist on snch a perilous experiment. 

" When he found I was resolved, he gave 
way, but on condition that I signed a paper,, 
stating that in spite of his representations I had 
determined to sleep in the long room. 

" I confess, the more anxious these people 
seemed to prevent my sleeping there, the more 
curious I was; not that I believed in the ghost 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 127 

the least in the world. I thought that the 
lawyer had been right in his conjecture, but that 
he had n't nerve enough to investigate whatever 
he saw or heard ; and that they had succeeded 
in frightening him out of his senses. I saw what 
an excellent place these people had got, and how 
much it was their interest to maintain the idea 
that the castle was uninhabitable. Now, 1 have 
pretty good nerves — ^I have been in situations 
that have tried them severely — and I did not 
believe that any ghost, if there was such a thing, 
or any jugglery by which a semblance of one 
might be contrived, would shake them. As for 
any real danger, I did not apprehend it ; the 
people knew who I was, and any mischief hap- 
pening to me would have led to consequences 
they well understood. So they lighted fires in 
both the grates of the gallery, and as they had 
abundance of dry wood, they soon blazed up. I 
was determined not to leave the room after I was 
once in it, lest, if my suspicions were correct, 
they might have time to make their arrange- 
ments ; so I desired my people to bring up my 
supper, and I ate it there. 

" My courier said he had always heard the 



128 GHOST STORIES AND 

castle was haunted, but he dare say there was no 
ghost but the people below, who had a very com- 
fortable berth of it ; and he offered to pass the 
night with me, but I declined any companion 
and preferred trusting to myself and my dog. 
My valet, on the contrary, strongly advised me 
against the enterprize, assuring me that he had 
lived with a family in France whose chateau was 
haunted, and had left his place in consequence. 

" By the time I had finished my supper it 
was ten o'clock, and every thing was prepared 
for the night. My bed, though an impromptu, 
was very comfortable, made of amply stuffed 
cushions and thick coverlets, placed in front of 
the fire. I was provided with light and plenty 
of wood ; and I had my regimental cutlass, and 
a case of excellent pistols, which I carefully 
primed and loaded in presence of the custodian, 
saying, you see I am determined to fire at the 
ghost, so if he cannot stand a bullet, he had 
better not pay me a visit. 

" The old man shook his head calmly, but 
made no answer. Having desired the courier, 
who said he should not go to bed, to come up 
stairs immediately if he heard the report of fire- 



PAMILY LEGENDS. 129 

arms, I dismissed my people and locked the 
doors, barricading each with a heavy ottoman 
besides. There was no arras or hangings of any 
sort behind which a door could be concealed ; 
and I went round the room, the walls of which 
were pannelled with white and gold, knocking 
every part, but neither the sound, nor Dido, the 
dog, gave any indications of there being anything 
unusual. Then I undressed and lay down with 
my sword and my pistols beside me ; and Dido 
at the foot of my bed, where she always slept. 

" I confess I was in a state of pleasing excite- 
ment ; my curiosity and my love of adventure 
were roused ; and whether it was ghost, or robber, 
or coiner, I was to have a visit from, the inter- 
view was likely to be equally interesting. It was 
half-past ten when I lay down ; my expectations 
were too vivid to admit of sleep ; and after an 
attempt at a French novel, I was obliged to give 
it up ; I could not fix my attention to it. Be- 
sides, my chief care was not to be surprised. I 
could not help thinking the custodian and his 
family had some secret way of getting into the 
room, and I hoped to detect them in the fact ; 
so I lay with my eyes and ears open in a position 

g3 



180 GHOST STORIKS AND 

that gave me a view of every part of it, till my 
travelling clock struck tvrelve, which being pre- 
eminently the ghostly hour, I thought the critical 
moment was arrived. But no, no sound, no in- 
terruption of any sort to the silence and solitude 
of the night occurred. When half-past twelve, 
and one struck, I pretty well made up my mind 
that I should be disappointed in my expectations,, 
and that the ghost, whotrer he was^ ktew better 
than to encounter Dido and a brace of well 
charged pistols ; but just as I arrived at this 
conclusion, an unaccountable frmon came over 
me, and I saw Dido, who tired with her day's: 
journey, had lain till now quietly curled up 
asleep, begin to move, and slowly get upon her 
feet. I thought she was only going to turn, but, 
instead of lying down, she stood still with her 
ears erect and her head towards the dais, uttering- 
a low growl. 

'' 'J'he dais, I should mention, was but the 
skeleton of a dais, for the draperies w^ere taken 
off. There was only remaining a canopy covered 
with crimson velvet, and an arm chair covered 
with velvet too, but cased in canvas like the rest 
of the furniture. I had examined this part of thet 



FAMILY LEGENDS. ISl 

room thoroughly, and had moved the chair aside 
to ascertain that there was nothing under it. 

" Well, I sat up in bed and looked steadily in 
the same direction as the dog, but I could see 
nothing at first, though it appeared that she did ; 
but as I looked, I began to perceive something 
like a cloud in the chair, while at the same time 
a chill which seemed to pervade the very marrow 
in my bones crept through me, yet the fire was 
good ; and it was not the chill of fear, for I 
cocked my pistols with perfect self possession and 
abstained from giNing Dido the signal to advance, 
because I wished eagerly to see the denouement 
of the adventure. 

" Gradually, this cloud took a form, and 
assumed the shape of a tall white figure that 
reached from the ceiling to the floor of the dais, 
which was raised by two steps. At him, Dido ! 
At him ! I said, and away she dashed to the 
steps, but instantly turned and crept back com- 
pletely cowed. As her courage was undoubted, 
I own this astonished me, and 1 should have 
fired, but that I was perfectly satisfied that what 
I saw was not a substantial human form, for I 
had seen it grow into its present shape and 



132 GHOST STORIES AND 

height from the undefined cloud that first ap- 
peared in the chair. I laid my hand on the dog 
who had crept up to my side, and I felt her 
shaking in her skin. I was about to rise myself 
and approach the figure, though I confess I was 
a good deal awe struck, when it stepped majesti- 
cally from the dais, and seemed to be advancing. 
* At him ! ' I said, ' At him. Dido ! ' and I gave 
the dog every encouragement to go forward ; she 
made a sorry attempt, but returned when she had 
got half wayand crouched beside me whining with 
terror. The figure advanced upon me ; the cold 
became icy; the dog crouched and trembled; 
and I, as it approached, honestly confess, said 
Count P., that I hid my head under the bed clothes 
and did not venture to look up till morning. T 
know not what it was — as it passed over me I 
felt a sensation of undefinable horror, that no 
words can describe — and I can only say that 
nothing on earth would tempt me to pass another 
night in that room, and I am sure if Dido could 
speak, you'd find her of the same opinion. 

" I had desired to be called at seven o'clock, 
and when the custodian, who accompanied my 
valet, found me safe and in my perfect senses, I 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 133 

must say the poor man appeared greatly relieved ; 
and when I descended the whole family seemed to 
look upon me as a hero. I thought it only just 
to them to admit that something had happened 
in the night that I felt impossible to account for, 
and that I should not recommend any body who 
was not very sure of their nerves to repeat the 
experiment." 

When the Chevalier had concluded this ex- 
traordinary story, I suggested that the apparition 
of the castle very much resembled that mentioned 
by the late professor Gregory, in his letters on 
mesmerism, as having appeared in the Tower of 
London some years ago, and from the alarm it 
created, having occasioned the death of a lady, 
the wife of an officer quartered there, and one of 
the sentries. Every one who had read that 
very interesting publication was struck by the 
resemblance. 



135 



ROUND THE FIRE, 



EIGHTH EVENING. 



"As this was our last evening, I was called 
upon for a story ; but I pleaded that I had told 
all mine in the * Night Side of Nature/ and of 
personal experience I had very little to tell ; but 
I said I will give you the history of a visit I 
made several years ago to a haunted house 
although it resulted in almost nothing. 

" After the pubHcation of the ' Night Side/ 
I received many valuable communications — I 
wish I had kept a note of them all, but I never 
expected to publish again on the same subject. 
Amongst others, I received a letter from a gentle- 
man called Mc. N., and as it contained several in- 
teresting particulars, I requested him to call on 
me. I remember, in the letter, he told me that 
a few years previously, he had been on an excur- 
sion from home, and that while stopping at an 
inn, one morning, about five o'clock, the door 



i 



136 GHOST STORIES AND 

opened and his father entered ; he came to the 
bedside, looked at him, and then went out again. 
The young man sprang from his bed, and fol- 
lowed him down stairs, where he lost sight of 
him. He returned home, and found his father 
had died on that morning. 

" He was in a lawyers office, and, amongst 
other things, he mentioned to me that there was 
not very far off a house said to be haunted, of 
which they had the charge, but that it was im- 
possible to do anything with it. ' We offer it at 
a mere nominal rent, but no one will stay 
there.* 

'' I was often absent from home at this time, 
but for the next two or three years I sometimes 
met him and inquired about the house. The report 
was always the same; till, at length, no one 
would go into it ; it was shut up — the shutters 
were closed, and the boys of the neighbourhood 
threw stones at the windows and broke the glass. 
Yet it was situated in a street where every other 
house was inhabited, and which had not been 
built many years. 

'' It was as much as six or seven years after 
I had first heard of this house, that I happened 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 137 

to mention the circumstance to some gentlemen 
of my acquaintance — very eminent men, with 
honest, inquiring minds ; truth seekers, who, if 
she were in the bottom of a well, would have 
thought it right to go after her. As they had 
humility enough to feel that they could not pro- 
nounce upon a question that they had never 
studied or investigated, they expressed a wish to 
visit the house. Accordingly, I applied to Mr. 
Mc. N., who had the keys in his office, and he 
obligingly consented to accompany us. Our ex- 
pedition was to be kept a profound secret ; and 
it was so, till some time afterwards, when, like 
most other [secrets, it got wind and it spread 
abroad. 

" We started in a carriage, between eleven 
and twelve o'clock at night, taking with us a 
young girl who was easily mesmerised, and when 
in that state a good clairvoyante. She was not 
told the object of our journey, and had no means 
whatever of learning it. We said we were going 
to look at a house, and that that was the most 
convenient time for the gentleman to show it us. 
We did not drive to the door, but Mr. McN. 
met us in the next street, where we alighted. 



138 GPOST STORIKS AND 

lest we should attract observation. We walked 
to our destination, and Mr. Mc. N. explained ta 
the policeman on duty who he was and where 
we were going, lest he should suspect mischief,. 
and interrupt us. He then unlocked the door 
with the aid of the policeman's lantern, for it 
was a dark winter's night ; and on entering, we 
found ourselves in a narrow passage. 

" It was a small house, in no respect different 
from the others in the street. They seemed all 
of the same description. A narrow frontage,, 
with one window and the door, on the ground 
floor ; two windows above ; two rooms on a 
floor, three stories in height, and a kitchen, scul- 
lery, and cellars underground. 

" As soon as the door closed on us, we were 
in utter darkness, but we had provided ourselves- 
with candles and matches, and when we had 
lighted them, we entered the back parloiu*, which 
Mr. Mc. N. had heard from the different inha- 
bitants was the room in which they had met with 
most annoyance. 

" The clairvoyante was then put to sleep, and 
asked if she liked the house, and would recom- 
mend us to take it. She shuddered and saidf 



FAMILY LEGENDS. \S9 

* No ; that two people had been murdered there, 
and we should be troubled' We asked in which 
room ; she answered, ' it was before this house 
was built — that another house stood there then — 
a very old house.' This was not exactly on the 
same ground, but the room we were in was on 
part of it. She said that it was these murdered 
people who would trouble us. We asked if she 
could see them, and she answered ' no.' 

" We then waited in silence to see if any- 
thing occurred ; but nothing did, except a metal- 
lic sound at the door, which was ajar, Uke the 
striking of two pieces of iron. We all heard it,, 
but could not say what occasioned it. 

" After a little time, some one suggested that 
we should extinguish the lights. We did so, and 
were then in absolute darkness. There was but 
one window in the room, and that was coated 
with dust, and the shutter was shut ; besides, as 
I have said, it was a very dark night, and this 
room, being at the back, looked into a yard, I be- 
lieve \ at all events, not into a street. 

" Presently, the clairvoyante started, and ex- 
claimed, ' Look there ! ' We saw nothing, and 
asked what it was. 



140 GHOST STORIES AND 

" ' There ! ' she said. ' There again ! don't 
you see it ? ' 

" ' What ? ' we asked. ' The lights ! ' she said. 
* There ! Now ! ' These exclamations were made 
at intervals of two or three seconds. 

" We all said we saw nothing whatever. 

" ' If Mrs. Crowe would take hold of my 
hand, I think she would see them,' she sug- 
gested. 

" I did so ; and then at intervals of a few 
seconds, I saw thrown up, apparently from the 
floor, waves of white light, faint, but perfectly 
distinct and visible. In order that I might know 
whether our perceptions of this phenomenon were 
simultaneous, I desired her, without speaking, to 
press my hand each time she saw it, which she 
did ; and each time I distinctly saw the wave of 
white light. I saw it, at these intervals, as long 
as I held her hand and we were in the dark. 
Nobody saw it but she and myself ; and we did 
not follow up the experiment by the others tak- 
ing her hand, which we should have done. 

" During this interval, another light suddenly 
appeared in the middle of the room, away from 
where we were standing, I saw a bright diamond 



JfAMILT LEGENDS. 141 

of light, like an extremely vivid spark— only not 
the colour of fire; it was white, brilliant, and 
quiescent, but shed no rays. I did not mention 
this, because I wished to learn if it was visible 
to any body else — but nobody spoke of it ; not 
even the clairvoyante. Whether she saw it or 
not, I cannot say. When the candles were re- 
lighted these lights were no longer visible. I and 
one of the gentlemen went over the house above 
and below, but saw nothing but the dust and 
desolation of a long uninhabited dwelling. 

" When we came away, and Mr. Mc. N. had 
locked the door, we walked to the carriage. I 
said, 'then you none of you saw the waves of 
light.' 

" ' No,' said they. 

'' ' Well,' said I, ' I certainly did, and I never 
saw anything like it before. Moreover, I saw 
another sort of light.' 

" ' Did you,' said Mr. Mc. N., interrupting 
me ; * was it a bright spark of light like the 
oxy-hydrogen light.' 

" ' Exactly,' said I. * I could not think what 
to compare it to ; but that was it.' 

" I thus was certain that he had seen the 



142 GHOST STORIES AND 

same thing as myself ; he had not spoken of it 
foom a similar motive ; he waited to have his im- 
pression confirmed by further testimony. 

" You see our results were not great, but the 
visit was not wholly barren to me. Of course, 
many wise people will say, I did not see the 
lights, but that they were the offspring of my 
excited imagination. But I beg to say that my 
imagination was by no means excited. If I had 
been there alone, it would have been a different 
affair ; for though I never saw a ghost nor ever 
fancied I did, I am afraid I should have been 
very nervous. But I was in exceedingly good 
company, with two very clever men, besides the 
lawyer, a lady, and the clairvoyante ; so that my 
nerves were perfectly composed, as I should not 
object to seeing any ghost in such agreeable 
society. Moreover, I did not expect any result ; 
because, there is very seldom any on these occa- 
sions, as ghosts appear we know not why ; but 
certainly not because people wish to see them. 
They generally come when least expected and 
least thought of. 

*' Mr. Mc.N., on inquiry, learnt that unac- 
countable lights were amongst the things com- 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 143 

plained of. What occasioned them and the other 
phenomena, it had certainly been the proprietor's 
interest for many years to discover ; it had also 
been the interest of numerous tenants, who hay- 
ing taken the house for a term, found themselves 
obliged to leave it at a sacrifice. Yet, for all those 
years, no explanation could be found for the 
anonyances but that the house was haunted. 
No tradition seems extant to account for its evil 
reputation. If what the clairvoyante said was 
true, the murders must have occurred long ago. 
"A gentleman, an inhabitant of the same 
city, once mentioned to me that a friend of his, 
many years previously, when quite a young man, 
had one Sunday evening been walking alone in 
the fields outside this town ; and that he met a 
young woman^ a perfect stranger, who, on some 
pretence asked him to see her safe home. He 
did so ; she led him to a lone farm house, and 
then inviting him to walk in, shewed him into a 
room and left him. Whilst waiting for her return, 
idly looking about, he found hidden under the 
table, which was covered with a cloth, a dead 
body. On this discovery, he rushed to the door ; 
it was locked ; but the window was not very high 



144 GHOST STORIES AND 

from the ground, and by it he escaped ; terrified 
to such a degree, that he not only left the city 
that very evening, but hastened out of the country, 
apprehensive that he had been enticed to the 
house and shut up with the murdered man, for 
the purpose of throwing the guilt on him ; and 
as justice was not so clear sighted, and much 
more inexorable than in these days, he feared 
the circumstancial evidence might go against 
him. He settled in a foreign country and finally 
died there. 

" Where this locality was, I dont know, ex- 
cept that it was in the environs of the city — 
environs which have since been covered with 
buildings; what if the house that we visited 
should have been erected on the site of that lone 
farm ! 

" It may be so ; at all events, this story shews 
how possible it is that some similar event might 
have occured on the spot where the haunted 
house stands." 

In conclusion, let me once more recall to my 
readers that one, whose insight none will dispute, 
reminds us, in relation to this very subject, that 
** our philosophy," does not comprehend all wis- 



FAMILY LEGENDS 146 

dom and all truth. Philosophy is a good guide 
when she opens her eyes, but where she obsti- 
nately shuts them to one class of facts because 
she has previously made up her mind they cannot 
be genuine, she is a bad one. 

Professor A. told me that when he was at 
Gottingen, as a great favour, and through the 
interest of an influential professor there, he was 
allowed to see a book that had belonged to Faust, 
or Faustus, as we call him. It was a large 
volume, and the leaves were stiff* and hard like 
wood. They contained his magic rites and for- 
mulas, but on the last page was inscribed a solemn 
injunction to all men, as they loved their own 
souls, not to follow in his path or practice the 
teaching that volume contained. 

There appears to be a mystery out of the 
domain — I mean the present domain of science ; 
within the region of the hyper-psychical, regarding 
our relations, while in this world, with those who 
have past the gates, a belief in which is, I think, 
innate in human nature. This belief, in certain 
periods and places, grows rank and mischievous ; 
at others, it is almost extinguished by reaction^ 
and education ; but it never wholly dies ; because^ 

H 



146 GHOST STORIES AND 

every where and in all times, circumstances have 
occurred to keep it alive, amongst individuals, 
which never reach the pubhc ear. Now, the 
truth is always worth ascertaining on any subject ; 
even this despised subject of ghosts, and those 
who have an inherent conviction that they them- 
selves are spirits, temporarily clothed in flesh, 
feel that they have an especial interest in the 
question. We are fully aware that the investi- 
gation presents all sorts of difficulties, and that 
the behef is opposed to all sorts of accepted 
opinions ; but we desire to ascertain the grounds 
of a persuasion, so nearly concerning ourselves 
which in all ages and all countries has prevailed 
in a greater or less degree, and which appears 
to be sustained by a vast amount of facts, which, 
however, we admit are not in a condition to be 
received as any thing beyond presumptive evi- 
dence. These facts are chiefly valuable, as fur- 
nishing cumulative testimony of the 'frequent 
recurrence of phenomena expUcable by no known 
theory, and therefore as open to the spiritual 
hypothesis as any other. When a better is 
offered, supported by something more convincing 
than pointless ridicule and dogmatic assertion, I 



FAMILY LEGENDS 147 

for one, sEall be ready to entertain it. In the 
meanwhile, hoping that time may, at length, in 
some degree, rend the veil that encompasses this 
department of psychology, we record such expe- 
riences as come under our observation and are 
content to await their interpretation. 



H 2 



149 



APPENDIX. 



I have referred in the preceding pages to the 
loss of several letters, which I should have been 
glad to insert here. 

The following very interesting ones I have 
fortunately retained. I give them verbatim, only 
suppressing the names of the writers, as requested. 



LETTER I. 

Aug. 18, 1854. 
Madam, 

1 have received your kind favor of the 
1-5 th, and I really feel that I must now apologize 
to you, for venturing so quickly to call in ques- 
tion the accuracy of your details. Being imaware, 
however, of the marvellous coincidence of the iioo 
dreams, I feel assured you at once appreciated the 
motives which alone impelled me to write. 



150 GHOST STORIES AND 

Allow me, then, to attempt a narration of the 
particulars referred to in my last, as having come 
under my own observation. 

Two intimate friends of mine (clergymen of 
the Church of England) and one of whom is un- 
married, have for the last three years occupied a 
large old-fashioned house in the country. It 
is a very pretty place — stands within its own 
grounds — and is quite aloof from any other 
dwellings. It has long had the reputation in 
the neighbourhood of being haunted, in con- 
sequence, it is said, of a former proprietor having 
committed suicide there. The story goes thus, 
he was laid out in a chamber which is now called 
the spare room, and is the scene of what I am 
about to relate. I may as well tell you that it 
was only on my last visit, some six weeks since, 
that I became at all aware of the character of the 
mansion, for my friends felt so annoyed at 
what has taken place, that they purposely avoided 
conamunicating to their visitors what they thought 
might make them anything but comfortable. 

On that occasion there happened to be on 
a visit ta my friend's wife, a lady very nearly 
related to him. She had the spare room assigned 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 151 

to her as a chamber, and on the very first night 
of her arrival was so terrified by what took place 
that she would* not again sleep there without 
company. 

She stated that in the middle of the night 
she was alarmed by the most unearthly groan- 
ings and lamentations — the voice seemed close 
to her bedside. It was afterwards attended by a 
rustling noise, and she distinctly felt the curtains 
at the foot of the bed removed. Now, as my 
knowledge of what was going on could not be 
disputed, my Mends admitted that it was not 
the first time these noises had been heard, nay, 
that in two instances the apparition of a form L 
grave-clothes had been seen ; the one occurring 
to a young gentleman of about twenty years of 
age, who happened to be visiting them, and the 
other to one of their own servants. In the for- 
mer case, it appears that the young man was 
sitting rather late at night in the study reading-r- 
ail the family being in bed — ^when the form 
emerged, apparently, from the wall dividing the 
study from the haunted chamber. It remained 
a short time only and then melted away. So great 
was the young mans terror that he has never 



152 GHOST STORIES AND 

been near the place since. The servant also de- 
scribed a similar appearance, and no one in the 
house who saw her terror could believe it acted. 
Independently of all this, no less than four gen- 
tlemen, two of them from the University, have 
experienced all the unearthly groanings and be- 
wailings before mentioned, and in nearly every 
instance the parties were, like myself, ignorant of 
the character attributed to the house. But I 
now come to my own experience. 

I was on a visit to my friends about twelve 
months since, when I met a gentleman who had 
just left the army for the church. He appeared 
about 21 years of age, and there was that inde- 
scribable something in his manner which charmed 
me immediately. Without any pretence to being 
set up — so to speak — in piety, there was yet that 
in his sunny countenance and air of cheerfulness, 
which made yQU feel that he had been called to 
a brighter path of usefulness. I certainly very 
much admired him, and I have since learnt that 
he is a general favourite. On retiring to rest I 
found that he was to occupy the next room — not 
the study side. 

From a variety of causes I could not sleep — 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 158 

"but the imaginative powers were not particularly 
aroused — my thoughts were of very prosy and 
worldly things. As near as I could recollect, 
about an hour after I had been .in bed, I heard 
the most dreadful groans followed by exclama- 
tions of the most horrible kind. The voice 
certainly seemed in the room, and was continued 
for at least two hours^ at intervals of about ten 
Diinutes. It was that of a man who had com* 
mitted a deadly sin which could never be par- 
doned ! The agony seemed to me to be 
intense. 

Will you believe it, Madam^ in spite of wliat 
I thought of my acquaintance of the next cham- 
ber, I ascribed it to him. I believed little in the 
supernatural, and concluded it to be some dread- 
ful dream. It is astonishing the thought never 
struck me that a continuous dream of such a 
character was scarcely possible. It did not, 
however, and despite of its unearthly character, 
and the apparent woe of the unfortunate one — 
the despair, as I said before, of a lost soul — I 
continued to associate it all with my neighbour 
next door, until the events which occurred xit my 
last visit entirely upset my conviction, and I 

H 3 



154 GH08T STORIES AND 

became at once assured I had been doing hinra 
^eat injustice. 

Like some of the cases in the ^' Night Side 
ef Nature/' you will perceive here a great differ^ 
ence in the manifestations — ^to some it was given 
te hear^ to others to see. Are you still of opi- 
nion that this results from what you term com- 
parative freedom of rapport! Do you not think 
there are times when the material may give place 
to the supernatural ? I admit freely the truth 
of spectral illusions — I have myself experienced 
one — ^but knew it to be nothing more. StUl, 
notwithstanding this, and my further beUef in a 
certat?i connection of mind and matter, I cannot 
altogether cast from me the persuasion that the 
Almighty One may at times think fit to exercise 
a power independent of all rule, for the attain* 
ment of certain ends to us, perhaps, unknown. 

I cannot conclude without telling you that 
with regard to what I have mentioned above> 
nothing in the shape of trick could possibly have 
been practised. Trusting I may not have tres- 
passed too much on your patience, I will now 
remain^ Madam^ yours very respectfully, 

J. H. Hk 



TAMILT LEGENDS. 165 



LETTER II. 

Gloucestershire^ June 10, 1854. 

Madam, 

Being not long ago on a visit of some 
days at the house of a friend, I happened to 
meet with your work, entitled " The Night side 
of Nature/' 

The title struck my imagination, and opening 
the book I was delighted to find that it treated 
of subjects which had long engaged my serious 
thoughts. I was much pleased to see in 
you such an able and earnest protester against 
the cold scepticism of the age in reference to 
truths of the highest order, and those too sus- 
tained by a body of evidence which in any other 
case would be esteemed irresistible. I must also 
say that I never met with so great a number of 
well authenticated facts in any other work as 
you have given us, whilst the truly catholic spirit 
of your theological reflections, was to me pecu- 
lilarly refreshing. I once had a thought of 



156 GHOST STORIES AND 

making a similar collection, that design I have 
however abandoned, the state of my health not 
admitting of much hteraiy labour. I could relate 
to you many things as remarkable as any you 
have described, for the truth of which I can vouch. 
I will mention one of a most singular natiu*e, and 
should you be incUned to read anything more 
from me on these matters, I shall feel a pleasure 
in the communication. Writing letters I find to 
be a relief from a melancholy, induced some two 
years ago by a variety of heavy afflictions, and 
this must be my apology for addressing you. But 
to my narrative : — 

Shortly after I entered the ministry, I was 
introduced to a gentleman of very superior mind 
who belonged to the same profession, and whom 
I had never seen equalled for the genius and elo- 
quence which his conversation displayed. 

I became at once attached to him, and for 
some reason or other he evinced a desire to cid- 
tivate my friendship. After some months of most 
agreeable intercourse had elapsed, he was taken 
seriously ill, and one evening I was hastily sum- 
moned to his house. On ray entering his chamber 
he requested that we might be left alone, and he 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 157 

then told me that it was his impression that his 
disease was mortal — that many supernatural 
occurrances had marked his life, which he desired 
might be given to the world when he was gone, 
and that he wished me to perform this office. Hav- 
ing expressed my willingness to gratify him, he 
commenced the chapter of extraordinaries. Here is 
one event in his remarkable history. Prior to his 
becoming a minister and when in humble cir- 
cumstances, he lodged at the house of a trades* 
man at a certain sea-port town in W — s. He 
was then in perfect health. One night he retired 
to rest in peculiarly good spirits, and as his cus- 
tom was (for it was then summer) he sat near the 
window and gazed for some time on the beauties 
of nature. He then amused himself for a while 
by humming a tune, when presently on looking 
towards the door, he saw the figure of a man 
enter — his dress was a blood red night cap, 
flannel jacket, and breeches. The man approached 
the bed (his countenance and walk indicating 
extreme illness), threw himself upon it, gave 
several groans and apparantly expired. My friend 
was so filled with horror that he lost all power of 
speech and motion, and remained fixed on his 



158 GHOST STORIES AND 

seat till morning, when he told his landl(»rd the 
occurrence of the night, and declared that unless 
they could find him other apartments he would 
leave them that very day. The honest people 
were disinclined to part with him and agreed to 
accommodate him on the ground-floor. About 
twelve months after this, he went out on a market 
day for the purpose of purchasing some provi* 
sions, and when he returned, he heard that his 
old room was taken ; but what was his surprise 
to find in the new lodger the very form, with the 
very same dress that had so terrified him a year 
before ! 

The man was then very ill : he died in a few 
weeks, and the circumstances were without any 
exception the same as those which ray friend 
had witnessed. This is one of those cases in which 
it is extremely difficult to ascertain the design of 
the appearance. 

I should much like to know what conjecture 
you would form, as to the modus and end of such 
a singular incident. 

Of the veracity of the narrator it was impos- 
sible for me to doubt. As this minister is still 
living I am not at liberty to mention his name. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 159 

Pray excuse the freedom of thus addressing 
you, and believe me to be 

Madam, with every sentiment 
of xespeet and esteem, 

Yours, very truly, 
Mrs. C. Crowe. R. T. 0. 



LETTER III. 



Gloucestershire^ June 21, 1854. 

Madam, 

As I find that another communication 
will not be unacceptable, I proceed to detail a few 
cases. My first relates to the minister, a part of 
whose history I have given you, and belongs to 
the class of prophetic dreams. When he had 
resolved to study for the ministry and through 
the influence of friends, had obtained admission 
to a Dissenting College ; as the day affixed for 
his departure drew near, he was fiUed with 
anxiety, from the fact that he had not even money 
to pay his travelling expenses. 

He did not like to borrow, and he had no 



160 GHOST STORIES AND 

TCason to conclude that any one suspected the 
miserable state of his finances. The evening be- 
fore his expected removal, he laid down to rest 
with a troubled heart. This was in the very same 
seaport where the circumstance happened which I 
have already told you. After some hours of 
great mental suffering sleep came to his reUef, 
and in his dream there seemed to approach him 
one of a most pleasing form, who told him that 
he not only saw that he was in distress, but that 
he well knew the cause of it, and that if he would 
walk down on the beach to a certain place which 
he pointed out as in a picture, he would find 
under some loose stones enough for his present 
necessities. In the morning, accordingly, almost 
as soon as it was light he hastened to the indi- 
dicated spot and to his great surprise and delight 
found a sum amounting to a trifle more than was 
absolutely necessary for his journey. I would 
just, in passing, remark that he said that on 
another occasion, his father who died many years 
before appeared to him with an angry counten- 
ance, and assured him that he would suffer much 
from something he had done in reference to his 
family, but as this was evidently an unpleasant 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 161 

and even painful topic I did not wish him to en- 
large upon it. The other fact I shall mention, 
happened to my grandfather who was also a 
minister. I am well aware that it is of such a 
nature that the relation of it would in most com- 
panies excite a burst of laughter or at least a 
contemptuous and sceptical smile, but I know I 
am addressing one who has studied in a very dif- 
ferent school of philosophy. It was in the large 
town of B — m where my grandfather resided for 
many years, that the event took place. He him- 
self my grandfather, my aunts, and my motha: 
used often to tell it to their friends when the 
conversation turned on the supernatural. I have 
probably heard it a hundred times and I am not 
ashamed to say that on the testimony of such a man 
asmygrandfather I cannot but yield to it mybelief. 
One morning when breakfast had jtist com^ 
menced, my grandfather went from the table, at 
which my grandmother also was sitting, into the 
passage, for what purpose I have now forgotten, 
and there he found (for the front door had been 
standing open,) a strange looking man in black, 
with a shuffling gait and a club foot. He de- 
clared that he had an instantaneous conviction 



162 GHOST STORIES AND 

that this was a supernatural appearance^ and that 
a spirit of evil stood before him. The man in 
black exclaimed, moving towards the breakfast 
room, " I am come to take breakfast with you 
this morning/^ My grandfather convulsively 
seizing the handle of the door, said, with a stern 
look, " you are too late sir," to which the other 
instantly replied, " I am not too late for the rem- 
nant,*' and then rushed into the street. My 
grandfather followed, and to his amazement saw 
this creature at the top of the street, which was of 
great length, and in a moment or two he vanished. 
My grandmother heard a loud talking, and when 
my grandfather returned to the table in consider- 
able agitation, she naturally wished to know what 
had occurred, but as she was near her confine- 
ment he of course concealed the matter from her. 
The mysterious words of the stranger followed 
him continually, and he puzzled himself in seek- 
ing to explain their meaning. In a few days my 
grandmother was confined. The child was dead- 
born and her life for some time hung in jeopardy^ 
He now believed he had arrived at the solution 
of the difficulty — the infant was the " remnant'" 
referred to. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 165 

I am not the subject of remarkable dreams^ 
I had one, however, lately, and I give it you 
because it stands connected in my mind with the 
knowledge of a singular psychical fact which I 
am confident will greatly interest you, if you 
have not yet fallen upon it in the course of your 
reading. About a fortnight ago I thought I saw 
in my sleep, a young man, who is assistant to our 
principal surgeon, come into my room, looking 
exceedingly unwell. He laid himself on the 
other bed in my chamber, and I thought that he had 
come there to hnger out his last illness, at which 
I felt not the least suiprise or objection. He 
seemed to be perfectly resigned, and presently 
he began to converse with me, and after we had 
talked for some time, whilst he was replying ta 
something I had said, I distinctly saw his spirit 
rise up out of his body. He gazed at the corpse 
with the deepest interest and pleasure. One 
moment he would stand by the head and survey 
the face, and the next move to the feet, and then 
gaze at the entire body. He called me to come 
and stand by his side and view this lifeless frame^ 
which I did with as much placidity as he seemed 
himself to possess, and without the slightest idea 



164 GHOST STORIKS AND 

of their being anything absurd in what I saw. I 
<X)uld not, however, help saying " 0, tliat I could 
leave my body and have such a view of it as you 
have now of yours ! " I remember no more. In 
the morning I had occasion to call on a tViend, 
who has a large library containing many rare 
fcooks. Not being in the humour for close read- 
ing (for I spend many hours at a time there) I 
took up from a centre table a volume cf a lighter 
kind. It happened to be Mrs. Child's " Letters 
from New York." Turning the leaves over care- 
lessly, my eye lighted on a chapter headed " The 
^spirit surveying its owm body ! " She there says 
that she was told by a pious lady, that when once 
in a swoon, she felt that she left the body and vras 
standing by it during the whole time it lasted ; 
that she distinctly heard every word spoken by 
the doctor and her family, and saw every move- 
ment of their countenances, and all that was done 
-with her body. I may observe that I have not 
heard that anything has occurred to the young 
man I saw. If I have not already tired your 
patience you may draw on my memory for some- 
thing more. A line to that effect will oblige, 

Yours very truly, 
Mrs. Crowe. R. I. O. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 165 

LEITER IV. 

Edinburgh, Aug. 10/^. 
Madam, 

In consequence of a long absence abroad^ 
I never had, till recently, an opportunity of read- 
ing your agreeable work, " The Night side of 
Nature," which contains a mass of evidence in 
favour of your theories, to which I take the liberty 
of adding a few cases from my own experience. 

j\Iany years ago I lived in a house in Edin- 
burgh, which belonged to my mother's relatives^ 
and m which my maternal grandfather had died> 
several years antecedent to my own birth. The 
room in which I slept was that (but at the time- 
unknown to me) in which my relative had ex- 
pired. There were two beds in the room —one 
a large four-poster and the other a sort of couch. 
The latter was next the door, and both lay 
between it and the window, which was barred 
and bolted, and opposite to them was the fire- 
place, with rather a high mantlepiece. Being 
summer, the " board " was on the chimney. It 
was about eleven o'clock at night ; the rest of 
the family had retired to rest. As there were 



166 GHOST STORIES AND 

only about two inches of candle left, I placed the 
candlestick on the mantlepiece, intending to allow 
it to burn out, and went to my bed, which was 
on the couch. I had just lain down, and was 
looking towards the candle, when, to my extreme 
horror, I perceived a tall old man in his night 
dress, standing by the mantlepiece. His sight 
seemed impaired, for he put forth his hand and 
felt for something^ and then moved across the fire- 
place, in doing which, he obscured the light on 
passing it. My gaze was riveted on him. He 
then turned towards the large bed on my left, 
and stretching out his hands attempted with a 
feeble effort to lay himself down, and in doing so 
I heard him sigh distinctly. He disappeared 
almost at the same moment. He did not appear 
to have noticed me. I immediately sprang out 
of bed and opening the door on my right hand, 
called out loudly, but never left the doorway, as I 
was resolved that if the figure were that of a 
living person there should be no means of egress. 
On the assembling of the family in my room, a 
search was made ; but there was nothing to be 
seen, and there had been no possibility of a 
iuman being having been in the room ; the affair 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 167 

was put down to an illusion. Yet so strong an 
impression did it leave on my mind, that a 
few years since (1851 or 52), when in India, I 
published in " Saunder's Magazine," printed at 
the Delhi Gazette press, an account of this appa- 
rition, in a narrative, which I wrote called " Idone, 
or Incidents in the life of a dreamer,"' and which 
with the exception of this introductory^ vision, 
was, in reality, a series of actual dreams of which 
I had kept a record, and this I endeavoured to 
weave into a vague story, with the view of illus- 
trating how a person might live two distinct 
ives ! 

Sometime after the above were published, I 
read with much interest, " Swedenborg's Theory 
of the Spiritual World;*' and lately when reading 
your work, I was struck with some peculiar re- 
semblances between my own experience and the 
cases you cite. 

But to return to the family and house in 
Edinburgh, of my grandfather. Other members 
of the family have seen unaccountable figures in 
the same house. An aunt of mine and a cousin, 
one night, met an old woman on the stairs with 
a large bunch of keys, and were in the greatest 



16S 6H08T 8T0RI£S AXD 

alarm. On another occasion, on going to open 
a room which had been locked up for some time^ 
in order to prepare it for the reception of my 
eldest uncle, who had just returned that night 
from abroad, two members of the family started 
back and locked the door again, for on entering 
thoy had both seen the matlrois 4f^. violently 
heaved up. On returning with the servants, 
nothing was visible of an unusual description. 
AgaiUi two relatives occupied the same room, and 
one nighti as the fire was burning low, after they 
had gone to bed (the door being locked) th^ 
wore alarmed by a sound like wings, over their 
bcd^i and by a dusk jf form moving about the 
room. It walked up to the fire-place and seemed 
i*tiitlcss. When it had disappeared, they both 
rose and HPilodcd the door, called for assistance, 
but| as Uiunli nothing of their visitor was to be 
seen. A still more remarkable incident occurred 
in the same house. As two of my aunts were 
sitting opposite the window, at night, they were 
startled by the apparition of an absent brother-in- 
law looking in, and with a pen in his hand. A 
few days afterwards the intelligence of his death 
arrived. He had been signing /lis will at the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 169 

exact 4ime they had seen his apparation. My 
eldest uncle shortly after his return from abroad 
went to Musselburgh to visit an old school-master, 
and as he entered the yard he observed him 
limping into the school. He tried to overtake 
him, and on reaching the door he met one of the 
tutors, who informed him that the Dr. had been 
confined to his bed for some time with i» brokep 

.leg. 

The same unde, who was an officer in the 
army, dreamt that he had obtained his cap- 
taincy by the retirement of an officer of the 
name of Patterson (so far as I remember.) 
There was no such officer then in the regi- 
ment, and he mentioned it as strange that 
he should have dreamt of a particular name. 
A few Gazettes afterwards my uncle obtained 
his promotion 'by an officer of this name being 
brought in from the half -pay to sell out in the 
same Gazette. 

I have myself heard the most remarkable and 
unaccountable noises in my grandfather's house. 
The servants were often in the greatest terror. 
I have heard, seemingly, the whole of the furni- 
ture, in a particular room, thrown violently about, 

1 



170 GHOST STORIES AND 

accompanied with the noise of something rolling 
on the floor. At other times I have distinctly 
heard, as it were, a boy's marble falling step by 
step down the stairs and striking against my 
door, which was at the foot of them, and yet this 
was at night, and there were no children in the 
house. This annoyance, with that of steps heard 
round my bed, was so common as to cease to make 
any impression on me. 

I may mention that my grandfather was not 
happy in his family relations, and died in 
an uneasy frame of mind, on Christmas eve, 
1820. Since my family sold his house, I have 
never heard that its new occupants were dis- 
turbed. 

I have at different periods of my life had groups^ 
as it were, of very remarkable allegorical dreams. 

It is somewhat singular that involuntary 
efforts may be made daring sleep, which are I 
believe beyond the bounds of possibility during 
waking moments. Indeed the curious pheno- 
mena which you have so ably criticised, are with- 
out limit. 

Though you do not approve of the conceal- 
ment of names, I hope you will excuse my 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 171 

asking you to do so in the present instance as 
maQy of the parties concerned might be dis- 
pleased. 

I have the honour to remain, 

Madam, 
Your obedient servant, 

Mrs. Catherine Crowe. H. A. 

" P.S. I know two remarkable instances of 
prophetic denunciation or the power of will, 
under, of course, the control of Providence. In 
one instance, the death of the party denounced, 
followed on the week precKcted, although at the 
time he was well. Moreover, the denunciation 
was never mentioned to him. 

" In the other ins^tance, the accomplishment 
of the denunciation was accomplished to the 
exact day, and under very remarkable circum- 
stances. I believe this power to be involuntary^ 
and more of the nature of inspiration. 



I 2 



SECOND PART. 



LEGENDS OF THE EARTHBOUND. 



THE ITALIAN'S STORY. 

" How well your friend speaks English !" I 
remarked one day to an acquaintance when I was 
abroad, alluding to a gentleman who had just 
quitted the room. " What is his name ? '* 
" Count Francesco Ferraldi." 
" I suppose he has been in England ? ^* 
" Oh, yes ; he was exiled and taught Italian 
there. His history is very curious and would 
interest you, who like wonderful things/' 
" Can you tell it me." 

'' Not correctly, as I never heard it from 
himself. But I believe he has no objection to 
tell it — with the exception of the political 
transactions in which he was concerned, 
and which caused his being sent out of the 
Austrian dominions; that part of it I believe 
he thinks it prudent not to allude to. 



174 GHOST STORIES AND 

We'll ask him to dinner, if you'll meet him, and 
perhaps we may persuade him to tell the story." 

Accordingly, the meeting took place; we 
dined m petit comite, — and the Count very good- 
naturedly yielded to our request ; " but you must 
excuse me," he said, "beginning a long way back 
for my story commences three hundred years 
ago. 

" Our family claims to Be of great antiquity, 
but we were not very wealthy till about the latter 
half of the 16th century, when Count Jacopo^ 
Ferraldi made very considerable additions to the 
property; not only by getting, but also by 
saving — ^he was in fact a miser. Before that pe- 
riod the Perraldis had been warriors, and we 
could boast of many distinguished deeds of arms 
recorded in our annals ; but Jacopo, although by 
the death of his brother, he ultimately inherited, 
the title and the estates, had begun* Kfe as a^ 
younger son, and being dissatisfied with his por- 
tion, had resolved to increase it by commerce. 

" Florence then was a very diflFerent city to 
what it is now; trade iBourished, and its mer- 
chants had correspondence and large dealings 
with all the chief cities of Europe. My ancestor 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 175 

invested his little fortune so judiciously, or so 
fortunately, that he trebled it in his first venture ; 
and as people grow rapidly rich who gain and 
don't spend, he soon had w^ealth to his heart's 
content — but I am wrong in using that term as 
applied to him — he was never content with his 
gains but still worked on to add to them, for he 
grew to love the money for itself, and not for 
what it might purchase. 

"At length, his two elder brothers died, 
and as they left no issue he succeeded to their 
ifiheritance, and dwelt in the palace of his ances- 
tors; but instead of circulating his riches he 
hoarded them ; and being too miserly to enter- 
tain his friends and neighbours, he lived like an 
anchorite in his splendid halls, exulting in his 
possessions but never enjoying them. His great 
pleasure and chief occupation seems to have been 
counting his money, which he kept either hidden 
in strange out-of-the-way places, or in strong 
iron chests, clamped to the floors and walls. But 
notwithstanding those precautions and that he 
guarded it like a watch dog, to his great dismay 
he one day missed a sum of two thousand pounds 
which he had concealed in an ingeniously contrived 



]76 GHOST STORIES AND 

receptacle under the floor of his dining-room, the 
existence of which was only known to the man- 
who made it; at least, so he beKevedi Small 
as was- this sHm in- proportion to what he pos^ 
sessedj the shock was tremendous; he rushed 
out of his house like a madman with the intention 
of dragging the criminal to justice, but when he 
arrived at the man's shop he found him in bed 
and at the point of death. His friends and the 
doctor swore that he had not quitted it for a 
fortnight ; in short, according to their shewing, 
he was taken ill on his return from working at 
the Count's, the very day he finished the ph. 

" If this were tr-ue, he could not be the thief,, 
as the money was not deposited there till sc«ne 
days afterwards, and although the Count had his- 
doubts, it was not easy to disprove what every- 
body swore, more especially as the man died on 
the following- day, and was buried. Baffled and 
furious, he next fell foul of his two servants— he 
kept but two, for he only inhabited a small 
part of the palace. There was not the smallest 
reason to suspect them, nor to suppose they 
knew anything of the hiding place, for every pre- 
caution had been used to conceal it ; moreover, 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 177 

he had found it locked as he himself had locked 
it after depositing the money, and he was quite 
sure the key had never been absent from his own 
person. Nevertheless, he discharged them and 
took no others. The thief, whoever he was, had 
evinced so much ingenuity, that he trembled to 
think what such skill might compass with oppor- 
tunity. So he resolved to afford none; and 
henceforth to have his meals sent in from a 
neighbouring eating-house, and to have a person 
once a week to sweep and clean his rooms, whom 
he could keep an eye on while it was doing. As 
he had no clue to the perpetrators of the robbery, 
and the man whom he had most reason to suspect 
was dead, he took no further steps in the busi- 
ness, but kept it quiet lest he should draw too 
much attention towards his secret hoards ; never- 
theless, though externally calm, the loss preyed 
upon his mind and caused him great anguish. 

" Shortly after this occurrence, he received 
a letter from a sister of his who had several years 
before married an Englishnaan, saying that her 
husband was dead, and it being advisable that 
her dear and only son should enter into com- 
merce, that she was going to send him to Florence, 

z 3 



178 GHOST STORIES ANIT 

feeling assured that her brother would advise 
him for the best, and enable him to employ the 
funds he brought with him advantageously. 

" This was not pleasing intelligence ; he did 
not want to promote any body's interest but his 
own, and he felt that the young man would be a 
i^y on his actions, an intruder in his house, and 
no dout an expectant and greedy heir, counting 
the hours till he died ; for this sister and her 
fiamily were his nearest of kin, and would inherit 
if he left no will to the contrary. However, his 
arrival could not be prevented ; letters travelled 
slowly in those days, and ere his could reach 
England his nephew would have quitted it, so he 
lesolved to give him a cold reception and send 
him back as soon as he could. 

"In the mean time, the young man had 
started on his journey, full of hope and confidence, 
and immediately on his arrival hastened to pre- 
sent himself to this rich uncle who was to shew 
him the path he had himself followed to fortune. 
It was not for his own sake alone he coveted 
riches, but his mother and sister were but poorly 
provided for, and they had collected the whole of 
their little fortune and risked it upon this venture. 



f'AMILY LEGENDS. 179 

hoping, with the aid of their relative, to be amply 
repaid for the present sacrifice. 

" A fine open countenanced lad was Arthur 
Allen, just twenty years of age ; such a face and 
figure had not beamed upon those old halls for 
many a day. Well brought up and well instruc- 
ted too ; he spoke Italian as well as English, his 
mother having accustomed him to it from in- 
fancy. 

"Though he had heard his uncle was a 
miser, he had no conception of the amount to 
which the mania had arisen ; and his joyous an- 
ticipations were somewhat datnped when he found 
himself so coldly received, and when he looked 
into those hard grey eyes and contracted features 
that had never expanded with a genial smile ; so 
fearing the old man might be apprehensive 
that he had come as an applicant for assistance to 
set him up in trade, he hastened to inform him 
of the true state of the case, saying that they had 
got together two thousand pounds. 

" ' Of course, my mother,' he said, ' would 
not have entrusted my inexperience with such a 
sum; but she desired me to place it in your 
hands, and to act entirely under your direction. 



180 GHOST STORIES AND 

"To use the miser's own expression — for 
we have learnt all these particulars from a memoir 
left by himself — 'When I heard these words the 
devil entered into me, and I badie the youth bring 
the money and dine with me on the following 
day/ 

" I daresay you will think the devil had en- 
tered into him long before; however, now he 
recognized his presence, but that did not deter 
him from following his counsel. 

Pleased that he had so far thawed his uncle's 
frigidity, Arthur arrived the next day with his 
money bags at the appointed hour, and was re- 
ceived in an inner chamber ; their contents were 
inspected and counted> and then placed in one 
of the old man's iron chests. Soon afterwards 
the tinkle of a bell announced that the waiter 
from the neighbouring traiteur's had brought the 
dinner, and the host left the room to see that all 
was ready. Presently he re-entered, and led his 
guest to the table. The repast was not sumptu- 
ous, but there was a bottle of old Lacryma 
Christi which he much recommended,^ and which 
the youth tasted with great satisfaction. But 
strange ! He had no sooner swallowed the first 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 181 

glass, than his eyes began to stare — there was a 
gurgle in his throat — a convulsion passed over his 
face — ^and his body stiflFenedv 

" ' I did not look up/ says the old man in 
his memoir, ' for T did not like ta see the face of the 
boy that had sat down so hearty to his dinner, so I 
kept on eating mine — but I heard the gurgle, and 
I knew what had happened ; and presently lest 
the servant should come to fetch the dinner 
things, I pushed the table aside and opened the 
receptacle from which my two thousand pounds 
had been stolen — curses on the thief ! and I laid 
the body in it, and the wine therewith. I locked 
it and drove in two strong nails. Then I put 
back the table — moved away the lads chair and 
plate, unlocked the door which was fast, and sat 
down to finish my dinner. I could not help 
chuckling as I ate,, to think how his had been 
spoilt. 

" * I closed up that apartment, as I thought 
there might be a smell that would raise observa- 
tion, and I selected one on the opposite side of 
the gallery for my dining-room. All went well 
till the following day. I counted my two thou- 
sand pounds again and again, and I kept gloating 



182 CTHOST STORIES AND 

over tie recovery of it — for I felt as if it was my 
own money, and that I had a right to seize it 
where I eould. I wrote also to my sister, say- 
ing, that her son had not arrived ; but that whea 
he did, I would do my best to forward his views'. 
My heart was light that day — they say that's a 
bad sign. 

" * Yes, all was so far well ; but the next day 
we were two of us at dinner ! And yet I had in- 
vited no guest ; and the next and the next, and 
so on always ! As I was about to sit down, be 
entered and took a chair opposite me, an un- 
bidden guest. I ceased dining at home, but it 
made no diflFerence ; he came, dine wheie I 
would. This preyed upoame; I tried not to 
mind, but I could not help it. Argument was 
vain. I lost my appetite, and was reduced nearly 
to death's door. At last, driven to desperation, 
I consulted Fra Guiseppe. He had been a fast 
fellow in his time, and it was said had been too 
impatient for his father's succession; howbeit, 
the old man died suddenly ; Guiseppe spent the 
money and then took to religion. I thought he 
was a proper person to consult, so I told him my 
case. He recommended repentance and restitu- 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 183 

tion. I tried, but I could not repent, for I had 
got the money; but I thought, perhaps, if I 
parted with it to another, I might be released ; 
so I looked about for an advantageous* purchase, 
and hearing that Bartolomeo Malfi wa» in dif^ 
Acuities, I offered him two thousand pounds^ 
money down, for his land — I knew it was worth 
three times the sum. We signed the agree- 
ment, and then I went home and opened the door 
of the room where it was ; but lo ! he sat there 
upon the chest where the money waa fast locked^ 
and I could not get it. I peeped in two or three 
times, but he was always there ; so I was obliged- 
to expend other moneys in this purchase, which 
vexed me, albeit the bargain was a good one. 
Then I consulted friend Guiseppe again, and he 
said nothing would do but restitution — but that 
was hard, so I waited ; and I said to myself, 111 
eat and care not whether he sit there or no. But 
woe be to him ! he chiUed the marrow of my 
bones, and I could not away with him ; so I said 
one day, " What if I go to England with the 
money ? " and he bowed his head. 

" The old man accordingly took the money- 
bags from the chest and started for England. 



184 GHOST STORIES AND 

His sister and her daughter were still living^ in 
the house they had inhabited during the hus- 
band's lifetime ; in short, it was tl^ir own ; and 
being attached to the place they hoped, if the 
young man sueceded in his undertakings, to be 
able to keep it. It was a small house with 
a garden full of flowers, which the ladies cul- 
tivated themselves. The village church was close 
at hand, and the churchyard adjoined the garden. 
The poor ladies had become very uneasy at not 
hearing of Arthur's arrival ; and when the old 
man presented himself and declared he had never 
seen anything of him, great was their affliction 
and dismay ; for it was clear that either some 
misfoirtune had happened to the boy, or he had 
appropriated the money and gone off in some 
other direction. They scarcely admitted the pos- 
sibility of the last contingency, although it was 
the one their little world universally adopted, in 
spite of his being a very well conducted and 
affectionate youth ; but people sard it was too 
great a temptation for his years, and blamed 
his mother for entrusting him with so much 
money. Whichever it was, the blow fell very 
heavy on them in all ways, for Arthur was 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 185 

their sole stay aud support, and they loved him 
deajly. 

'* Since he had set out on this journey, the 
oM man had been relieved from the company of 
his terrible guest, and was beginning tc recover 
himself a little, but it occasioned him a severe 
pang when he remembered that this immunity 
was to be purchased with the sacrifice of two- 
thousand pounds, and he set himself to think 
how he could jockey the ghost. But while he* 
waar deUberating on this subject, an event hap-' 
pened that alarmed him for the immediate safety 
of the money. 

" He had found on the road, that the great 
weight of a certain chest he brought with him,- 
had excited observation whenever his luggage 
had to be moved ; on his arrival two labouring 
men had been called in to carry it into the house, 
and he had overheard some remarks that induced 
him to think they bad drawn a right conclusion 
with regard to its contents. Subsequently,, he* 
saw these two men hovering about the house in 
a suspicious manner, and he was afraid to leave: 
it or to go to sleep at night, lest he should be 
robbedv 



186 GHOST StOHlES AfiV 

'• So far we learn from Jocopo Ferraldi him-' 
self ; but there the memoir stops. Tradition says 
that he was found one morning murdered in his 
bed and his chest rifled. All the family, that is 
the mother and daughter and their one servant, 
were accused of the murder; and notwithstand- 
ing their protestation of innocence were declared 
guilty and executed. 

** The memoir I have quoted was found on 
his dressing table, and he appears to have been 
writing it when he was surprised by the assassins ;; 
for the last words were — * I think I've baulked 
them, and nobody will understand the — ' then 
oomes a large blot and a mark, as if the pen had 
fiJlen out of his hand. It seems wonderful that 
this mam^ so suspicious and secretive, should thus 
have entrusted to paper what it was needful 
he should conceal ; but the case is not singular ; 
it has been remarked in similar instances, when 
some dark mystery is pressing on a human soul, 
that there exists an irresistible desire to commu- 
nicate it, notwithstanding the peril of betrayal ; 
aud when no other confident can be found, the 
miserable wretch has often had recourse to paper. 

"The family of Arthur Allen being now 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 187 

e]itmGt, a cousin of Jacopo's, who was a penniless 
soldier, succeeded to the title and estate ,and the 
memoir, with a full account of what had happened, 
being forwarded to Italy, enquiries were made 
ftbout the missing two thousand pounds ; but it 
was not forthcoming *, and it was at first supposed 
that the ladies had had some accomplice who had 
carried it off. Subsequently, however, one of the 
two men who had borne the money chest into the 
house, at the period of the old man's arrival, was 
detected in endeavouring to dispose of some 
Italian gold coin and a diamond ring, which 
Jacopo was in the habit of wearing. This led to 
investigation, and he ultimately confessed to the 
murder committed by himself and his companion, 
thus exonerating the unfortunate woman. He 
nevetheless declared that they had not rifled the 
strong box, as they could not open it, and were 
disturbed by the barking of a dog before they 
could search for the keys. The box itself they 
were afraid to carry away, it being a remarkable 
one and liable to attract notice ; and that there- 
fare their only booty was some loose coin and 
some jewels that were found on the old man's per- 
son. But this w^as not believed, especially as hi* 



188 GHOST STORIES AND 

accomplice was not to be found, and appeared, on 
enquiry, to have left that part of the country im- 
mediately after the catastrophe. 

" There the matter rested for nearly two cen- 
turies and a halL Nobody sorrowed for Jacopo 
Eerraldi,r and the fate of the Aliens was a matter 
of indifference to the public, who was glad to see 
the estate fall into the hands of his successor, who 
appears to have made a much better use of his 
riches. The family in the long period that elapsed, 
had many vicissitudes ; but at the period of my 
birth my father inhabited the same old palace, 
and we were in tolerably affluent circumstances. 
I was born there, and I remember as a child the 
curiosity I used to feel about the room with the 
secret receptacle under the floor where Jacopo 
had buried the body of his guest. It had been 
found there and received Christian burial; but 
the receptacle still remained, and the room was 
shut up being said to be haunted. I never saw 
anything extraordinary, but I can bear witness 
to the frightful groans and moans that issued 
from it sometimes at night, when, if I could per- 
suade anybody to accompany me, I used to stand 
in the gallery and listen with wonder and awe* 



FAWTILY LEGENDS. 189 

©ut J never passed the door alone, nor would 
•any of the servants do so after dark. There had 
been an attempt made to exclude the sounds by 
walling up the door ; but so far from this suc- 
ceeding they became twenty time worse, and as 
the wall was a disfigurement as well as a failure, 
the unquiet spirit was placated by taking it down 

again. 

" The old man's memoir is always preserved 

amongst the family papers, and his picture stOl 
hangs in the gallery. Many strangers who have 
heard something of this extraordinary story, have 
asked to see it. The palace is now inhabited by 
an Austrian nobleman, — whether the ghost con- 
tinues to annoy the inmates by his lamentations 
I do not know. 

" * I now,* said Count Francesco, * come to 
my personal history. Political reasons a few 
years since obliged me to quit Italy with my 
family, I iiad no resources except a little ready 
money that I had brought with me, and I had 
resolved to utilise some musical talent which I 
bad cultivated for my amusement. I had not 
voice enough to sing in public, but I was ca- 
pable of giving lessons and was considered. 



190 GHOST STORIES AND 

when in Italy, a successful amateur. I will not 
weary you with the sad details of my early resi- 
dence in England ; you can imagine the difficul- 
ties that an unfortunate foreigner must encounter 
before he can establish a connexion. Suffice it 
to say that my small means where wholly ex- 
hausted, and that very often I, and what was 
worse, my wife and child were in want of bread, 
and indebted to one of my more prosperous 
countrymen for the v^ry necessaries of life. I 
was almost in despair, and I do not know what 
rash thing I might have done if I had been a 
single man ; but I had my family depending on 
me, and it was my duty not to sink under my 
difficulties however great they were. 

« One night I had been singing at the house of 
a nobleman, in St. James's Square, and had re- 
ceived some flattering compliments from a young 
man who appeared to be very fond of Italian music, 
and to understand it. My getting to this party 
was a stroke of good luck in the first instance, 
for I was quite unknown to the host, but Signor A. 
an acquaintance of mine, who had been engaged 
for the occasion^ was taken ill at the last moment, 
^nd had sent me with a note of introduction to 
supply his place. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 191 

" 1 knew, of course, that I should be well paid 
for my services, but I would have gladly accepted 
half the sum I expected if I could have had it that 
.night, for our little treasury was wholly exhausted, 
and we had not sixpence to purchase a breakfast 
for the following day. When the great haU doc^ 
shut upon me, and I found myself upon the pave- 
ment, with all that luxury and splendour on one 
side, and I and my desolation on the other, the 
contrast struck me cruelly, for I too had been 
rich, and dwelt in illuminated palaces, and had a 
train of liveried servants at my command, and 
sweet music had echoed through my halls. I felt 
desperate, and drawing nay hat over my eyes I 
began pacing the square, forming wild plans for 
the relief or escape from my misery. No doubt 
I looked frantic ; for you know we Italians have 
such a habit of gesticulating, that I believe my 
thoughts wer^ accompanied by movements that 
must have excited notice ; but I was too much 
absorbed to observe anything, tiU I was roused 
l^ a voice saying, * Signor Ferraldi, still here this 
damp chilly night ! Are you not afraid for your 
voice — it is worth taking care of.' 

" ' To what purpose,' I said savagely, ' It will 
not give me bread ! ' 



192 GHOST STORIES AND 

** If the interruption had 42ot been so sudden, 
I should not have made such an answer, but { 
was surprised into it before I knew who had ad- 
dressed me. When I looked up 1 saw it was the 
young man I had met at Lord L/s, who had com- 
plimented mc on my singing. I took off my hat 
and begged his pardon, and was about to move 
away, when he took my arm. 

" ' Esccuse me,' he said, * let us walk together,' 
and then after a Uttle pause, he added, with an 
apology, ' I think you are an exile.' 

* I am,' i said. 

* And I think,' he continued, * I have sur- 
prised you out of a secret that you would not 
voluntarily have told me. I know well the hard- 
ships that beset many of your countrymen — as 
good gentlemen as we are ourselves-r-^when you 
are obliged to leave your countjy ; and I beg 
therefore you will not think me impertinent or 
intrusive, if I beg you to be frank with me and 
tell me tow you are situated ! ' 

"This offer of sympathy was evidently so 
sincere, and it was so welcome, at 5uch a moment, 
that I did not hesitate to comply with my new 
fnend's request — I told him everything — adding 
that in time I hoped to get known, and that then 






FAMILY LEGENDS. 193 

I did not fear being able to make my way ; but 
that meanwhile we were in danger of starving. 

" During this conversation we were walking 
round and round the square, where in fact he 
lived. Before we parted at his own door, he 
had persuaded me to accept of a gift, I call it, 
for he had then no reason to suppose I should 
ever be able to repay him, but he called it an 
advance of ten guineas upon some lessons I was 
to give him ; the first instalment of which was 
to be paid the following day. 

"I went home with a comparitively light 
heart, and the next morning waited on my 
friendly pupil, whom I found, as I expected, a 
very promising scholar. He told me with a charm- 
ing frankness, that he had not much influence 
in fashionable society, for his family, though rich, 
vidL^parvemcey but he said he had two sisters, as 
fond of music as himself, who would be shortly in 
London, and would be delighted to take lessons, as 
I had just the voice they liked to sing with them. 

" Tliis was the first auspicious incident that 
had occurred to me, nor did the omen fail in its 
fulfilment. I received great kindness from the 
family when they came to London. I gave thenpi 

K 



194 GHOST STORIES AND 

lessons, sung at their parties, and they took 
every opportunity of recommending me to their 
friends. 

"When the end of the season approached, 
however, I felt somewhat anxious about the 
future — there would be no parties to sing at, and 
my pupils would all be leaving to^vn ; but my 
new friends, whose name, by the way, was Great- 
head, had a plan for me in their heads, which 
they strongly recommended me to follow. They 
gaid they had a house in tiie country with a large 
neighbourhood — in fact, near a large watering- 
place ; and that if 1 went there during the summer 
months, they did not doubt my getting plenty 
of teaching; adding, 'We are much greater 
people there than we are here, you see ; and our 
recommendation will go a great way/ 

"I followed my friend's advice, and soon 
after they left London, I joined them at Salton, 
which was the name of their place. As I had 
left my wife and children in town, with very little 
money, I was anxious that they should join me 
as soon as possible ; and therefore the morning 
after my arrival, I proceeded to look for a lodging 
ttt S., and to take measures to make my object 



FAMILY IJ^ENiBS. 195 

known to the residents and visitcM^ there. My 
business done, I sent my family directions for 
their journey, and then returned to Salton to 
spend a few days, as I had pronaised my kind 
patrons. 

" The house was nxnieni, in fact it had been 
built by Mr. Greathead^s grandfirther, who was 
the architect of their fortunes ; the grounds were 
extensive, and the windows looked on a fiae 
lawn, a picturesque ruin, a sparkling rivulet, and 
a charming flower-garden ; there could not be a 
prettier view than that we enjoyed while sitting 
at breakfast. It was my first experience of the 
lovely and graceful English homes, and it fully 
realised all my expectations, both within doors 
;and without. After breakfast Mr. Greathead and 
his son asked me to accompany them round 
the grounds, as they were contemplating some 
alterations. 

" ' Among other things,' said Mr, G., ^ we 
want to turn this rivulet ; but my wife has n 
particular fancy for that old hedge, which is 
exactly in the way, and she won't let me root 
it up.' 

^' The hedge alluded to enclosed two sides of 

k2 



196 GHOST STORIES AND 

the flower-garden, but seemed rather out of place^ 
I thought. 

" ' Why ? ' said I. ' What is Mrs. Great- 
head's attachment to the hedge ? ' 

" ' Why ? it's very old ; it formerly bordered 
the church-yard, for that old ruin you see there, 
is all that remains of the parish church ; and this 
flower-garden, I fancy, is all the more brilliant for 
ihe rich soil of the burial-ground. But what is 
lemarkable is, that the hedge and that side of the 
garden are full of Italian flowers, and always have 
teen so as long as anybody can remember. No- 
body knows how it happens, but they must 
spring up from some old seeds that have been 
long in the ground. Look at this cyclamen grow- 
ing wild in the hedge.' 

" The subject of the alterations was renewed 
at dinner, and Mrs. Greathead, still objecting to 
the removal of the hedge, her younger son, whose 
name was Harry, said, ' It is very well for 
mamma to pretend it is for the sake of the 
flowers, but I am quite sure that the real reason 
is that she is afraid of offending the ghost.' 

*' ' What nonsence, Harry,' she said. ' You 
must not believe him, Mr. Ferraldi.' 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 197 

*''Well mamma/ said the boy, 'you know 
you will never be convinced that that was not a 
ghost you saw.' 

" 'Never mind what it was/ she said ; ' I 
won't have the hedge removed. Presently/ she 
added, ' I suppose you would laugh at the idea 
of anybody beUeving in a ghost, Mr. Ferraldi/ 

" ' Quite the contrary/ I answered; ' I believe 
in them myself, and upon very good grounds, for 
we have a celebrated ghost in our family.' 

" ' Well,' she said, ' Mr. Greathead and the 
boys laugh at me ; but when I came to live here, 
upon the death of Mr. Greathead's grandfather, 
— for his father never inhabited the place, havhig 
died by an accident before the old gentleman, — 
I had never heard a word of the place being 
haunted; and, perhaps, I should not have be- 
lieved it if I had. But, one evemng, when the 
younger children were gone to bed, and Mr^ 
Oreathead and George were sitting with some 
friends in the dining-room, I, and my sister, 
who was staying with me, strolled into the 
garden. It was in the month of August, and a 
bright starHght night. We were talking on a 
very interesting matter, for my sister had Ihat 



198 GHOST STORI£S AN1> 

day, received an offer from the gentleman she 
afterwards married. I menti(»i that, to show 
you that we were not thinking of anything 
supernatural, but, on the contrary, that our 
minds were quite absorbed with tl^ subject we 
were discussing. I was looking on the ground, 
as one often does, when listening intently to 
what another person is saying; my sister was-» 
speaking, when she suddenly stopped, «id laid 
her hand on my arm, saying, " Who's that ?" 

" ' I raised my eyes and saw, not many yards 
firom us, an old man, withered and thin, dressed 
in a curious antique fashion, with a high peaked 
hat on his head. I could not conceive who he 
could be, or what he could be doing there, for it 
was close to the flower-garden ; so we stood still 
to observe him. I don't know whether you saw 
the remains of an old tombstone in a corner of 
the garden? It is said to be that of a former 
rector of the parish; the date, 1550, is still 
legible upon it. The old man walked from one 
side of the hedge to that stone, and seemed to be 
counting his steps. He walked hke a person 
pacing the ground, to measure it; then he 
stopped,, and appeared to be noting the result oT 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 199 

his measurement with a pencil and paper he held 
in his hand ; then he did the same thing, the 
other side of the hedge, pacing up to the tomb- 
stone and back. 

" ' There was a talk, at that time, of removing 
the hedge, and digging up the old tombstone ; 
and it occurred to me, that my husband might 
have been speaking to somebody about it, and 
that this man might be concerned in the business, 
though, still, his dress and appearance puzzled 
me. It seemed odd, too, that he took no notice 
of us ; and I might have remarked, tliat we 
heard no footsteps, though we were quite close 
enough to do so; but these circumstances did 
not strike me then. However, I was just going 
to advance, and ask him what he was doing? 
when I felt my sister's hand relax the hold she 
had of my arm, and she sank to the ground ; at 
the same instant I lost sight of the mysterious old 
man, who suddenly disappeared. 

'''My sister had not fainted; but she said 
her knees had bent under her, and she had 
slipt down, coU&psed by terror. I did not feel 
very comfortable myself, I assure you; but I 
lifted her up^, and we hastened back to the house 



200 GHOST STORIES AND 

and told what we had seen. The gentlemen 
went out, and, of course, saw nothing, and 
laughed at us; but shortly afterwards, when 
Harry was born, I had a nurse from the village, 
and she asked me one day, if I had ever hap- 
pened to see " the old gentleman that walks !'' I 
had ceased to think of the circumstance, and in- 
quired what old gentleman she meant ? and then 
she told me that, long ago, a foreign gentleman 
had been murdered here; that is, in the old 
house that Mr. Greathead's grandfather pulled 
down when he built this ; and that, ever since, 
the place has been haunted, and that nobody will 
pass by the hedge, and the old tombstone after 
dark ; for that is the spot to which the ghost con- 
fines himself.' 

" ' But I should think,' said I, ' that so far 
from desiring to preserve these objects, you would 
rather wish them removed, since the ghost would, 
probably, cease to visit the spot at all.' 

" 'Quite the contrary,' answered Mrs. G, * The 
people of the neighbourhood say, that the former 
possessor of the place entertained the same idea, 
and had resolved to remove them ; but that then, 
the old man became verv troublesome, and was 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 201 

€ven seen in the house ; the nurse positively as- 
sured me, tliat her mother had told her, old Mr. 
Greathead had also intended to remove them; 
but that he quite suddenly counter-ordered the 
directions he had given, and, though he did not 
confess to anything of the sort, the people all 
believed that he had seen the ghost. Certain, it 
is, that this hedge has always been maintained by 
the proprietors of the place/ 

" The young men laughed and quizzed their 
mother for indulging in such superstitions ; but 
the lady was quite firm in her opposition, al- 
ledging, that independently of all considerations 
connected with the ghost, she liked the hedge 
on account of the wild Italian flower-s ; and she 
liked the old tombstone on account of its an- 
tiquity. 

" Consequently, some other plan was devised 
for Mr. Greathead's alterations, which led the 
course of the rivulet quite clear of the hedge and 
the tombstone. 

"In a few days, my family arrived, and I 
established mvself at S., for the summer. The 
speculation answered very well, and through the 
recommendations of Mr. and Mrs. Greathead, 

k3 



202 GHOST STORIES AI^D 

and their pers(»3al kmdness to mysdf and my 
wife, we passed the time very pleasantly. When. 
the period few our returning to London ap- 
proached, they invited us to spend a fortnight 
with them before our departm*e, and, accordingly^ 
the day we gave up our lodgings, we removed to. 
Salton. 

"Preparations for turning the rivulet ha<i 
then commenced ; and soon after my arrival, i 
walked out with Mr. Greathead to see the works. 
There was a boy, about fourteen, amongst the- 
labourers ; and while we were standing close to* 
him, he picked up something, and handed it to 
Mr. G., saying, 'Is thb yours, sir?' which, oa 
examination, proved to be a gold coin of the- 
sixteenth century,— the date on it was 1545.. 
Presently, the boy who was digging, picked up 
another, and then, several more. 

*' * This becomes interesting,' said Mr. Great- 
head, ' I think we are coming upon some buried 
treasure / and he whispered to me, that he had 
better not leave the spot. 

'' Accordingly, he did stay, till it was time to- 
dress for dinner; and, feeling interested, I re-- 
noained also. In the interval, many more coins. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 203 

were found ; and when he went in, he dismissed 
the workmen, and sent a servant to watch the 
place, — for he saw by their faces, that if he bad 
not happened to be present he would, probably, 
never have heard of the circumstance* A few 
more turned up the following day, and then the 
store seemed exhausted. When the villagers 
heard of this money being discovered, they all 
looked upon it as the explanation of the old gen- 
tleman haunting that particular spot. No doubt 
he had buried the money, and it remained to be 
seen, whether now, that it was found, his spirit 
would be at rest. 

" My two children were with me at Salton on 
this occasion. They slept in a room on the third 
floor, and one morning, my wife having told me 
that the younger of the two seemed unweU, I 
went up stairs to look at her. It was a cheerful 
room, with two little white beds in it, and several 
old prints and samplers, and bits of work such as 
you see in nurseries, framed and hung against the 
wall. After I had spoken to the child, and while 
my wife was talking to the maid, I stood with my 
hands in my pockets, idly looking at these things. 
Amongst them was one that arrested my atten- 



204 GHOST STORIES AND 

tion, because at first I could not understand it, 
nor see why this discoloured parchment, with a 
few lines and dots on it, should have been framed 
and glazed. There were some words here and 
there which I could not decipher ; so I lifted the 
frame off the nail and carried it to the window. 
Then I saw that the words were Italian, written 
in a crabbed, old-fashioned hand, and the wliole 
seemed to be a plan, or sketch, rudely drawn, of 
what I at first thought was a camp — but, on closer 
examination, I saw was part of a churchyard, with 
tomb stones, from one of which Unes were drawn 
to various dots, and along these lines were num- 
bers^ and here and there a word as rigld^ left, &c. 
There were also two lines forming a right angle, 
which intersected the whole, and after contem- 
plating the thing for some time, it struck me that 
it was a rude sort of map of the old churchyaid 
and the hedge, which had formed the subject of 
conversation some days before. 

" At breakfast, I mentioned what I had ob- 
served to Mr. and Mrs. Greathead, and they said 
they believed it was ; it had been found when the 
old house was pulled down, and was kept on ac- 
count of its antiquity. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 205 

" ' Of what period is it/ I asked, ' and how 
happens it to have been made by an Itahan ?' 

" ' The last question I can't answer/ said Mr. 
Greathead ; ' but the date is on it, I believe/ 

" ^No,' said I, ' I examined it particularly — 
there is no date/ 

" ' Oh, there is a date and name, I think — but 
I never examined it myself ; ' and to settle the 
question he desired his son Harry to run up and 
fetch it, adding, ' you know Italian architects and 
designers of various kinds, were not rare . in this 
country a few centuries ago/ 

" Harry brought the frame, and we were con- 
firmed in our conjectures of what it represented, 
but we could find no date or name. 

" ' And yet I think I've heard there was one/ 
said Mr. Greathead. 'Let us take it out of the 
frame ?' 

" This was easily done, and we found the date 
and the name ; the count paused, and then 
added, ' I dare say you can guess it ?' 

" ' Jacopo FerraldiP' I said. 

" ' It was,' he answered ; and it immediately 
occurred to me that he had buried the money 
supposed to have been stolen on the night he was 



206 GHOST STORIES AND 

murdered, and that this was a plan to guide him 
in finding it again. So I told Mr. Greathead the 
story I have now told you, and mentioned my 
reasons for supposing that if I was correct in my 
surmise, more gold would be found. 

" With the old man's map as our guide, we 
immediately set to work — ^the whole family 
vigorously joining in the search ; and, as I ex- 
pected, we found that the tombstone in the gar- 
den was the point from which all the lines were 
drawn^ and that the dots indicated where the 
money lay. It was in different heaps, and ap- 
peared to have been enclosed in bags, which had 
rotted away with time. We found the whole 
sum mentioned in the memoir, and Mr. Great- 
head being lord of the manor, was generous 
enough to make it all over to me, as being the 
lawful heir, which, however, I certainly was not, 
for it was the spoil of a murderer and a thief, and 
it properly belonged to the Aliens, But that 
family had become extinct ; at least, so we be- 
lieved, when the two imfortunate ladies were exe- 
cuted, and I accepted the gift with much gratitude 
and a quiet conscience. It relieved us from our 
pressing difficulties, and enabled me to wait for 
better times. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 207 

" ' And/ said I, ' how of the ghost ? was he 
pleased or otherwise, by the dmouementV 

" * I cannot say/ replied the count ; ' I have 
not heard of his being seen since ; I understand, 
however, that the villagers, who understand these 
things better than we do, say, that they should 
not be surprised if he allowed the hedge and 
tombstone to be removed now without opposi- 
tion ; but Mr. Greathcad, on the contrary, wished 
to retain them as mementoes of these curious cir- 
cumstances/ *' 



209 



THE DUTCH OFFICER^S STORY. 

" Well, I think nothing can be so cowardly 
as to be afraid to own the truth? said the 
pretty Madame de B., an Englishwoman, who 
had married a Dutch officer of distinction. 

"Are you really venturing to accuse the 
General of cowardice,'' said Madame L. 

'' Yes,'' said Madame de B , "I want him to 
tell Mrs. Crowe a ghost story — a thing that he 
saw himself — and he pooh, poohs it, though he 
owned it to me before we were married, and 
since too, saying that he never could have believed 
such a thing if he had not seen it himself." 

While the wife was making this little tirade, 
the husband looked as if she was accusing him of 
picking somebody's pocket — il perdaif co^ite^ 
nance quite. " Now, look at him," she said, 
*' don't you see guilt in his face, Mrs. Crowe ? " 

" Decidedly" I answered; "so experienced 
a seeker of ghost stories as myself cannot fail to 



210 GHOST STORIES AND 

recognise the symptoms. I always find that 
when the circumstances is mere hearsay, and 
happened to nobody knows who, people are very 
ready to tell it ; when it has happened to one of 
their own £amily, they are considerably less com- 
municative, and will only tell it under protest ; 
but when they are themselves the parties con- 
cerned, it is the most difficult thing imaginable 
to induce them to relate the thing seriously, and 
with its details ; they say they haye forgotten it,, 
and don't believe it ; and as an evidence oi their 
incredulity, they affect to laugh at the whole 
affiur. K the General will tell me the story, I 
shall think it quite as decisive a proof of courage 
as he ever gave in the field.'' 

Betwixt bantering and persuasion, we suc- 
ceeded in our object, and the General began as 
follows : — 

" You know the Belgian Rebellion (he always 
called it so) took place in 1 830. It broke out at 
Brussels on the 28th of August, and we imme- 
diately advanced with a considerable force to 
attack that city ; but as the Prince of Orange 
hoped to bring the people to reason, without 
bloodshed, we encamped at Yilvorde, whilst he 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 211 

catered Mussels alone, to hold a coDference with 
the armed people. I was a Lieutenant-Colonel 
then, and commanded the 20th foot, to which 
regiment I had been lately a[^isted. 

** We had been three or four days in canton- 
ment, when I heard two of the men, who were 
digging a little drain at the back of of my tent, 
talking of Jokel Falck, a private in my regiment, 
who was noted for his extraordinary disposition 
to somnolence, one of them remarked that he 
would certainly have got into trouble for being 
asleep on his post the previous night, if it had not 
been for Mungo. * I don't know how many times 
he has saved him,' added he. 

'' To which the other answered, that Mungo 
was a veiy valuable friend, and had saved many 
a man from punishment. 

" This was the first time I had ever heard of 
Mungo, and I rather wondered who it was they 
alluded to ; but the conversation sHpt from my 
mind and I never thought of asking any body. 

" Shortly after this I was going my rounds, 
being field-oflScer of t)ie day, when I saw by the 
moonlight, the sentry at one of the outposts 
stretched upon the ground. I was some way oft' 



312 GHOST STORIES AND 

when I first perceived him ; and I only knew what 
the object was from the situation, and because I 
saw the glitter of his accoutrements ; but almost 
at the same moment that I discovered him, I ob- 
4served a large black Newfoundland dog trotting 
towards him. The man rose as the dog ap- 
proached, and had got upon his legs before I 
xeached the spot. This occupied the space of 
about two minutes — perhaps, not so much. 

" ' You were asleep on your post,' I said ; and 
turning to the mounted orderly that attended me, 
I told him to go back and bring a file of the 
^uard to take him prisoner, and to send a sentry 
to relieve him. 

" * Non, mon colonel,' said he, and from the 
way he spoke I perceived he was intoxicated, 
* it's all the fault of that danme Mungo. II m'a 
manque.' 

" Bat I paid no attention to what he said and 
Tode on, concluding Mun(/o was some slang term 
of the men for drink. 

" Some evenings after this, I was riding back 
from my brother's quarter — he was in the 1 5th, 
and was stationed about a mile from us — ^when I 
remarked the same dog T had seen before, trot up 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 219 

to a sentry who, with his legs crossed, was 
leaning against a wall. The man started, and 
began walking backwards and forwards on his 
beat. I recognised the dog by a large white 
streak on his side — all the rest of his coat being 
black. 

" When I came up to the man, I saw it was 
Jokel Falck, and although I could not have said 
he was asleep, I strongly suspected that that was 
the fact. 

" ' You had better take care of yourself, my 
man,' said T. ' T have half a mind to have you 
relieved, and make a prisoner of you. I believe 
I should have found you asleep on your post, if 
that dog had not roused you.* 

" Instead of looking penitent, as was usual on 
these occasions, I saw a half smile on the man's 
face, as he saluted me. 

" * Whose dog is that ?' I asked my servant,, 
as I rode away. 

" ' Je ne sais pas mon. Colonel/ he answered, 
smiling too. 

" On the same evening at mess, I heard one 
of the subalterns say to the officer who sat next 
him, ' It's a fact, I assure you, and they call him 
Mungo.' 



214 GHOST STORIES AND 

" ^ That's a new name they've got for 
Schnapps, isn't it ?' I said. 

" * No, sir ; it's the name of a dog,' replied 
the young man, laughing. 

*' ^ A black Newfoundland, with a large white 
streak on his flank ?' 

" ' Yes, sir, I believe that is the description, 
replied he, tittering stilL 

" ' I have seen that dog two or three times/ 
said I. ' I saw him this evening — who does he 
belong to ?' 

" ' Well, sir, that is a difficult question,' an- 
swered the lad ; and I heard his companion say, 
' To Old Nick, I should think/ 

" ' Do you mean to say you've really seen 
Mungo ?' said somebody at the table. 

" ' If Mungo is a large Newfoundland — black, 
with a white streak on its side — I saw him just 
now. Who does he belong to ?' 

" By this time, the whole mess table was m a 
titter, with the exception of one old captain, a man 
who had been years in the regiment. He was of 
very humble extraction, and had risen by merit 
to his present position. 

*' ' I beheve Captain T. is better acquainted 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 215 

with Mungo than anybody present/ answered 
Major R., with a sneer. ' Perhaps he can tell 
you who he belongs to.' 

" The laughter increased, and I saw there was 
some joke, but not understanding what it meant, 
I said to Captain G., * Does the dog belong to 
JokelFalck?' 

" ' No, sir/ he replied, ' the dog belongs to 
nobody now. He once belonged to an officer 
called Joseph At veld.' 

" ' Belonging to this regiment ?' 

'^'Yes, sir.' 

" ' He is dead, I suppose ?' 

'' ' Yes, sir, he is.' 

" ' And the dog has attached himself to the 
regiment ?' 

" ' Yes, sir.' 

"During this conversation, the suppressed 
laughter continued, and every eye was fixed on 
Captain T., who answered me shortly, but with 
the utmost gravity. 

" ' In fact/ said the major, contemptuously, 
' according to Captain T, Mungo is the ghost of 
a deceased dog.' 

" This announcement was received with 



216 GHOST STORIES AND 

shouts of laughter, in which I confess I joined, 
whilst Captain T. still retained an unmoved 
gravity. 

" ' It is easier to laugh at such a thing than 
to believe it, sir,' said he. * / believe it, because 
I know it.' 

"I smiled, and turned the conversation. 

" If anybody at the table except Captain T. 
had made such an assertion as this, I should hav^e 
ridiculed them without mercy; but he was an 
old man, and from the circumstances I have 
mentioned regarding his origin, we were careful 
not to offend him ; so no more was said about 
Mungo, and in the hurry of events that followed. 
I never thought of it again. We marched on to 
Brussels the next day ; and after that, had 
enough to do till we went to Antwerp, where we 
were besieged by the French the following year. 

" During the siege, I sometimes heard the 
name of Mungo again ; and, one night, when I 
was visiting the guards and sentries as grand 
rounds, I caught a glimpse of him, and I felt 
sure that the man he was approaching when I 
observed him, had been asleep; but he was 
screened by an angle of the bastion, and by 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 217 

the time I turned the corner, he was moving 
about. 

" This brought to my mind all I had heard 
about the dog; and as the circumstance was 
curious, in any point of view, I mentioned what I 
had seen to Captain T. the next day, saying, ' I 
saw your friend Mungo, last night.' 

"'Did you, sir?' said he. 'It's a strange 
thing ! No doubt, the man was asleep ! ' 

" ' But do you seriously mean to say, that 
you beheve this to be a visionary dog, and not a 
dog of flesh and blood ? ' 

" ' I do, sir ; I have been quizzed enough 
about it ; and, once or twice, have nearly got 
into a quarrel, because people will persist in 
laughing at what they know nothing about ; but 
as sure as that is a sword you hold in yoiu* hand, 
so sure is that dog a spectre, or ghost — if such a 
word is applicable to a fourfooted beast ! ' 

" ' But, it's impossible ! ' I said. ' What rea- 
son have you for such an extraordinary belief ! ' 

" ' Why, you know, sir, man-and-boy, I have 
been in the regiment all my life. I was born in 
it. My father was pay-serjeant of No. 3 com- 
pany, when he died; and I have seen Mungo 

L 



218 GHOST STORIES AND 

myself, perhaps twenty times, and known, posi* 
lively, of others seeing bim twice as many more.' 

" ' Very possibly ; but that is no proof, that it 
is not some dc^ that has attached himself to the 
regiment/ 

" ' But I hare seen and heard of the dog for 
jfifty years, sir ; and my father before me, had 
seen and heard of him as long ! ' 

" * Well, certainly, that is extraordinary, 
— ^if you are sure of it, and that it's the same 
dog!' 

" * It's a remarkable dog, sir. Yoa won't see 
another like it with that large white stieak on his 
flank. He won't let one erf our sentries be 
found asleep, if he can help ; unless, indeed, the 
fellow is drunk. He seems to have less care of 
drunkards, but Mungo has saved many a man 
from punishment. I was once, not a little in- 
debted to liini myself. My sister was married 
out of the regiment, and we had had a bit of a 
festivity, and drank rather too fredy at the 
wedding, so that when I mounted guard that 
night — I wasn't to say, drunk, but my head was 
a little gone, or so; and I should have been 
caught nodding; but Mungo, knowing, I snp- 



JPAMILY LEOEKDS. 219 

pose, that I was not an habitual drunkard, woke 
me just in time/ 

" ' How did he wake you ? ' I asked. 

" ' I was roused by a short, sharp bark, that 
sounded close to my ears. I started up, and had 
just time to catch a glimpse of Mungo before he 
vanished ! ' 

"'Is that the way he always wakes the 
men?' 

^' ' So they say ; and, as they wake, he dis- 
appears.' 

" I recollected now, that on each occasion 
when 1 had observed the dog, I had, somehow, 
lost sight of him in an instant ; and, my curi- 
osity being awakened, I asked Captain T., if 
our's were the only men he took charge of, or, 
whether he showed the same attention to those of 
other regiments ? 

" ' Only the 20th, sir ; the tradition is, that 
after the battle of Fontenoy, a large black mas- 
tiff was found lying beside a dead officer. Al- 
though he had a dreadful wound from a sabre 
cut on his flank, and was much exhausted from 
loss of blood, he would not leave the body ; and 
even after we buried it, he could not be enticed 

l2 



2'20 GHOST STORIES AND 

from the spot. The men, interested by the 
fidelity and attachment of the animal, bound up 
his wounds, and fed and tended him ; and he 
became the dog of the regiment. It is said, that 
they had taught him to go his rounds before the 
guards and sentries were visited, and to wake any 
men that slept. How this may be, I cannot say ; 
but he remained with the regiment till his death, 
and was buried with all the respect they could 
show him. Since that, he has shown his grati- 
tude in the way I tell you, and of which you 
have seen some instances.' 

" ^ I suppose the white streak is the mark of 
the sabre cut. I wonder you never fired at 
bim.' 

" ' God forbid sir, I should do such a thing/ 
said Captain T., looking sharp round at me. ' It's 
said that a man did so once, and that he never 
had any luck afterwards ; that may be a supersti- 
tion, but I confess I would n't take a good deal 
to do it.' 

^' ' If, as you believe, it's a spectre, it could 
not be hurt, you know ; I imagine ghostly dogs 
are impervious to bullets.' 

" ' No doubt, sir ; but I should n't like to 



FAMILY LEGENDS. ^21 

try the experiment. Besides, it would be useless, 
as I am convinced already.' 

" I pondered a good deal upon tMs conversa- 
tion with the old captain. I had never for a 
moment entertained the idea that such a thing 
was possible. I should have as much expected 
to meet the minotaur or a flying dragon as a 
ghost of any sort, especially the ghost of a dog ; 
but the evidence here was certainly startling. I 
had never observed anything like weakness and 
credulity about T. ; moreover, he was a man of 
known courage, and very much respected in the 
regiment. In short, so much had his earnestness 
on the subject staggered me, that I resolved when- 
ever it was my turn to visit the guards and 
sentries, that I would carry a pistol with me 
ready primed and loaded, in order to settle the 
question. If T. was right, there would be an 
interesting fact established, and no harm done ; 
if, as I could not help suspecting, it was a cun- 
ning trick of the men, who had trained this dog 
to wake them, while they kept up the farce of the 
spectre, the animal would be well out of the way ; 
«ince their reliance on him no doubt led them to 
give way to drowsiness when they would other* 



222 GHOST STORIES AND 

wise have struggled against it ; indeed, though 
none of our men had been detected — thanks^ 
perhaps, to Mungo — there had been so much 
negligence lately in the garria(Hi that the 
general had issued very severe orders on the 
subject. 

" However, T carried my pistol in vain ; I 
did not happen to fall in with Mungo ; and some 
time afterwards, on hearing the thing alluded to 
at the mess-taUe, I mentioned what I had done, 
adding, ' Mungo is too knowing, I £uicy, to run 
the risk of getting a bullet in him/ 

" ' Well/ said Major R., ' I should like to 
have a shot at him, I confess. If I thought I had 
any chance of seeing him, I'd certainly try it ; 
but I've never seen him at all/ 

" ' Your b^t chance/ said another, *is when 
Jokel Falck is on duty. He is such a sleepy 
scoundrel, that the men say if it was not for 
Mungo he'd pass half his time in the guard 
Inmse.* 

" ' If I could catch him I'd put an ounce of 
lead into him ; that he may rely on.' 

"'Into Jdcel Falck, sir?' siud one of the 
subs,, laughing. 



FAMILY LEGENDS 223 

" * No, sir/ replied Major R. ; • into Mungo — 
and ril do it, too/ 

" ' Better not, sir,' said C^^^tain T., gravely ; 
provoking thereby a general titter round the 
table. 

" Shortly after this, as I was one night going 
to my quarter, I saw a mounted orderly ride 
in and call out a file of the guard to take a 
prisoner. 

" ' What's the matter ? ' I asked. 

" * One of the sentries asleep on his post, sir ; 
I believe it's Jokel Falck/ 

" * It will be the last time, whoever it is,' I 
said ; * for the general is determied to shoot the 
next man that's caught.' 

" ' I should have thought Mungo had stood 
Jokel Falck's friend, so often that he'd never have 
allowed him to be caught,' said the adjutant 
' Mungo has neglected his duty.' 

" ' No, sir,' said the orderly, gravely. ' Mungo 
would have waked him, but Major B. shot at 
him.' 

*'^AndkiUedhim,'l8aid. 

'^ The man made no answer, but touched hi 
cap and rode away. 



224 GHOST STORIES AND 

" I heard no more of the affair that night ; 
but the next morning, at a very early hour, my 
servant woke me, saying that Major R. wished to 
speak to me. I desired he should be admitted, and 
the moment he entered the room, I saw by his 
countenance that something serious had occurred ; 
of course, I thought the enemy had gained some 
unexpected advantage during the night, and sat 
up in bed inquiring eagerly what had hap- 
pened. 

"To my surprise he pulled out his pocket-hand- 
kerchief and burst into tears. He had married a 
native of Antwerp, and his wife was in the city 
at this time. The first thing that occurred to 
me was, that she had met with some accident, 
and I mentioned her name. 

*^ ' No, no,' he said ; ' my son, my boy, my 
poor Fritz ! ' 

"'You know that in our service, every 
officer first enters his regiment as a private 
soldier, and for a certain space of time does all 
the duties of that position. The major's son, 
Fritz, was thus in his noviciate. I concluded he 
had been killed by a stray shot, and for a minute 
or two I remained in this persuasion, the major's 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 225 

speech being choked by his sobs. The first 
words he uttered were — 

" ' Would to God I had taken Captain T/s 
advice V 

^^ * About what?' I said. ' What has hap- 
pened to Fritz ?' 

" ' You know/ said he, ' yesterday I was field 
officer of the day ; and when I was going my 
rounds last night, I happened to ask my orderly, 
who was assisting to put on my sash, what men 
we had told off for the guard. Amongst others, 
he named Jokel Falck, and remembering the 
conversation the other day at the mess table, I took 
one of my pistols out of the holster, and, after 
loading, put it in my pocket. I did not expect 
to see the dog, for I had never seen him ; but as 
I had no doubt that the story of the spectre was 
some dodge of the men, I determined if ever I 
did, to have a shot at him. As I was going 
through the Place de Meyer, I fell in with the 
general, who joined me, and we rode on together, 
talking of the siege. I had forgotten all about 
the dog, but when we came to the rampart, above 
the Bastion du Matte, I suddenly saw exactly 
euch an animal as the one described, trotting be- 

L 3 



226 GH06T 8T0RI£S AND 

Beath us. I knew there must be a sentry imme-* 
diately below where we rode, though I could not 
see him, and I had no doubt that the animal was 
making towards him ; so without saying a word,. 
I drew out my pistol and fired, at the same 
moment jumping off my horse, in order to look 
over the bastion, and get a sight of the man» 
Without comprehending what I was about, the 
general did the same, and there we saw the 
sentry lying on his face, fast asleep/ 

" ' And the body of the dog?' said L 

*^ ' Nowhere to be seen," he answered, ' and 
yet I must have hit him — I fired bang into him*. 
The general says it must have been a delusion,, 
for he was looking exactly in the same direction,, 
and saw no dog at all—but T am certain I saw 
him, so did the orderly/ 

'' ' But Fritz ?' I said. 

" * It was Fritz — ^Fritz was the sentry,' said 
the major, with a fresh burst of grief. The court- 
martial sits this morning, and my boy will be 
shot, unless interest can be made Avith the general 
to grant him a pardon.' 

''I rose and drest myself immediately, but 
with little hope of success. Poor Fritz being the: 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 227 

son of an officer, was against him rather than 
otherwise — ^it would have been considered an act 
of favouritism to spare him. He was shot ; his 
poor mother died of a broken heart, and the 
major left the service immediately after the sur- 
render of the city.'^ 

"And have you ever seen Mungo again?" 
said I. 

" No/' he replied ; " but I have heard of 
others seeing him.'' 

" And are you convinced that it was a 
spectre, and not a dog of flesh and blood ?" 

" I fancy I was then — but, of course, one 
can't believe — " 

" Oh, no ;" I rejoined ; " Oh, no ; never 
mind facts, if they don't fit into our theories." 



229 



THE OLD FRENCH GENTLEMAN'S 

STORY. 

I SPENT the summer of fifty-six at Dieppe — ^a 
charming watering-place for those who can bear an 
exciting air, and are not very particular about what 
they eat. Dieppe, as travellers see it who are hurry- 
ing through to Paris, has a most unpromising as- 
pect, with its muddy basins and third and fourth 
rate inns on the quays, but if you are not hastening 
from the packet to the train, which the great 
proportion of people do ; you have only to pass 
up one of the short streets you will see en face ^ 
when you issue from the Custom-house, into 
which you have been introduced on landing, and 
you will find yourself on an esplanade of con- 
siderable extent, with a wide expanse of clear 
salt water before you, a fine terrace walk along 
the shore, and several newly erected hotels oppo- 
site the sea. Of course, there is an etablissement 
where the usual amusements are provided ; the 
bathing is excellent, and the company numerous, 



230 GHOST STORIES AND 

for Dieppe is the favourite watering place of the 
fashionable world of Paris. The beauty of the 
place is greatly increased by a judicious sugges- 
tion of the Emperor's. I was told that when he 
and the Empress were there in '55, they com- 
plained of the absence of flowers on the espla- 
nade; it was objected that none would grow 
there ; however, he recommended them to try 
hollyhocks, china-asters, and poppies, the latter are 
the finest I ever saw, and the brilliant and varied 
masses of colour produce a very good effect. 
But they do not feed you well here ; ' Za Viande 
est longue a Dieppe ' as the Garfon of the Hotel 
Royal urged when I objected to the meat which, 
on application of the knife fell into strips of pack- 
thread ; the poultry is lean and bad \ fish scarce, 
because it all goes to Loudon or Paris, by con- 
tract, and everything dear. Nevertheless, Dieppe 
is a very nice place and the sm^rounding country 
is exceedingly pretty and picturesque. 

Some members of the Jockey Club were in 
the Hotel Royal, living very fast indeed. They 
all bore very aristocratic names and titles, but 
not the impress of high blood. How should 
they ? Judging from what I saw, such a course 



FAMILY LEGENDS., 231 

©f profligate self-indulgence, unredeemed, even 
by good breeding, must have eflFaced the stamp, 
if it ever was there. They inhabited a pavilioa 
in the cour, and the luxurious repasts that we 
constantly saw served to them gave us an awful 
idea of the amount of their bill. They played at 
cards all dny — the live long summer day ! And 
only suspended this amusement when the garqona 
appeared with their trays loaded with expensive 
wines and high-seasoned dishes. One other 
amusement they had, which was no less an 
amusement to us — they had a drag — a regular 
Enghsh four-in-hand. The cour of the hotel was 
divided from the road by iron rails, with a large 
gate at each extremity for carriages, so that to an 
Enghsh whip, nothing would have been easier 
than to drive in at one of these gates, and round 
the sweep, and out at the other ; but this the 
jockey club could never accomplish; when the 
gentlemen took the reins from the coachman, if 
they were in, they could not get out ; and if 
they were out, they could not get in ; so after a 
few ambitious attempts and ignominious failures, 
they submitted to the inglorious expediency c£ 
mounting and dismounting outside the gates^ 



232 GHOST 8T0RIKS AND 

The French have certainly a remai'kable incapa- 
city for riding or driving, which is strange, as they 
are active men and have generally light figures. 
The Emperor is almost the only Frenchman I ever 
saw ride well; but he rides like an English 
gentleman. 

There were many elegantly drest women, of 
all nations, at Dieppe, but there was one who 
particularly attracted my attention, and for 
whom, when I afterwards heard her stoiy, I felt 
^n extraordinary interest. This was the Countess 
Adeline de-Givry-Monjerac, at least so I will call 
her here. When I first saw her she was going 
down to bathe, attended by her maid, a grave 
elderly person, and I was so much struck by her 
appearance, that I took the first opportunity of 
enquiring her name. She was tall and very pale, 
with fine, straight features, and an expression of 
countenance at once noble and melancholy. Her 
figure was so good, and her bearing at once so 
graceful and dignified, that her unusual height 
did not strike you till you saw her standing 
beside other women. She w^as leaning on her 
maid's arm, and stooped a little, apparently from 
feebleness. Her attire was a peignoir of grey 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 233 

taifetas, lined with blue, and on her head she 
wore a simple capote of the same. Her age, I 
judged to be about forty. 

She lodged in the Hotel Royal, as I did also, 
but lived entirely in private ; and we only saw 
her there as she went in and out. Later in the 
season, the Duchesse de B., and other persons, 
arrived from Paris, with whom she was ac- 
quainted, and I often observed her in conversa- 
tion with them on the promenade; but her 
countenance never lost its expression of melan- 
choly. However, I should have left Dieppe, ig- 
norant of the singular circumstances I am about 
to relate, but for an accident. 

There was a verandah in the court of the 
hotel, in which many of us preferred to break- 
fast, rather than in the salon ; and the verandah 
not being very extensive, and the candidates 
numerous, there was often a little difficulty in 
securing a table. One morning, I had just laid 
my parasol on the only one I saw vacant, when 
the garfon warned me that it was already en- 
gaged by ce monsieur, indicating an old gentle- 
man, who was standing with his back to me, in 
conversation with one of a sisterhood called 



234 GHOST STORIES AND 

Sceurs de la Providence, who was soliciting him 
to buy some of the lottery tickets she held in her 
hand ; they were for the Loierie de Bienfaimncey 
the proceeds of which are devoted to charitable 
purposes. There are innumerable lotteries of this, 
sort in France, authorized by the government; 
and they seem to me to be the substitute for our 
magnificent private charities in England, for very 
large sums are collected. The tickets only cost a 
franc. I believe the iirage is conducted with 
perfect fairness ; and people thus subscribe » 
franc for the poor, with the agreeable, but very 
remote, chance of being repaid, meme tci bos, a 
hundred thousand-fold. 

The old gentleman turned his head on 
hearing my conversation with the waiter; and,, 
begging 1 would not derange myself on his ac- 
count, desired that I might have the table. 
Grateful for such an unusual exertion of po- 
liteness — for the politeness of the modem French 
gentleman does not include the smallest modi- 
cum of self-sacrifice — I modestly declined, and 
said, "I would wait." He answered, "by no 
means.'' And while we were engaged in this 
anaicable contest, the waiter brought his break- 



FAMILY LKGENDS. 235 

fast, and placed it on the table ; seeing which, 
he proposed, that as he was denied the plea- 
siure of making way for me, I should have my 
coffee placed on the other side, and we should 
breakfast together; an offer which I gladly 
accepted. 

He was a pleasant, garrulous, old gentle- 
man. Monsieur de Vennacour was his name, 
jprqprietaire a Paris, and he told me how he had 
lost his fortune by the revolutions, and how he 
lived now in a petit apartment in the Bue des 
Ucuries d'Anjau, and belonged to a coterie of 
old ladies and gentlemen like himself, who had a 
petit whisk every night during the winter. While 
we were talking, the Countess passed us on her 
way to the bath ; and, happening to catch her 
eye as she crossed the court, he bowed to her; 
whereupon I asked him if he knew her ? 

" A little,'' he said ; " but I knew her husband 
well ; and her mother's hotel was next to that 
my family formerly inhabited. She was a beau- 
tiful woman, Madame de LigneroUes." 

" Then, she is dead?" saidl, 

" No ;" he replied. " She has retired from 
the wcH-ld, — she is in a convent. C'est une his- 



236 cnosT stories and 

toire bien triste celle de Madame de LigneroUes 
et sa fiUe, et aussi bien etrange ! " 

" If it is not a secret, perhaps you will tell it 
me ? " said I ; for I saw that my new acquaintance 
desired nothing better. He was a famous ra- 
conteur : and I wish I could tell the storv in 
English as well, and as dramatically, as he told it 
me in French; however, I'll repeat it as faith- 
fully as I can. 

" Madame de LigneroUes nee Hermione de 
Civry, was married early to the Marquis de Lig- 
neroUes, without any particular penchant for or 
against the union. The Marquis was a great 
deal older than herself, but it was considered a 
good match, for he was veiy rich, and his ge- 
nealogy was unexceptionable. Not more so, 
however, than the young lady's ; for the de 
Givry's heraldic tree had apparently sprung from 
an acorn floated to the west by Deucalion him- 
self. At the period of Hermione's marriage her 
father, mother, and two brothers, older than her- 
self, still lived. Her father, the Comte de Givry 
had been a younger son, and had inherited the 
fortune on the death of his elder brother who was 
killed in a duel the day before he was to have 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 237 

been married to a woman he pasionately loved. 
He died by the hand of one of his most intimate 
friends, with whom he had never had a word of 
difference before, and the subject of quarrel was a 
peacock ! But it was always remarked by the 
world, that the eldest scions of the house of Givry 
were singularly unfortunate ; they seldom pros- 
pered in their loves, and if they did, they were 
sure to die before their hopes were realised. 
People in general called it a destiny ; others 
whispered that it was a curse ; but the family 
laughed contemptuously if any one presumed to 
hint such a thing in their presence , and asserted 
that it was merely le hazard \ and as the world 
in these days is very much disposed to believe 
in le hazard^ few persons sought to penetrate 
further into the cause of these misadventures. 
However, Hermione's elder brother, Etienne^ 
did not escape his maiwals destin ; the lady he 
was engaged to marry was seized with the small 
pox, and, from being a pretty person, became a 
very ugly one. During her illness, he had sworn 
nothing should break his engagement, and ac- 
cordingly, disfigured as she was, he married her ;. 
but he had better, for both their sakes, have left 



238 GHOST STORIES AND 

it alone. He was disgusted and she was jealous ; 
they parted within a month after the wedding, 
and he was soon after killed by a fall from his 
horse in the Bois de Boulogne, and died, leaving 
no issue. Upon his decease, the second son, 
Armande, now the heir, was recalled from Prussia, 
whither he had gone with his regiment, but they 
were on the eve of a battle, and it was not con- 
sistent with his honour to leave till it was over. 
He was the first officer that fell in the fight, and 
thus the hopes of the ancient family of Givry 
became centered in the ofispring of Hermione. 
But, Adeline, the fair object of my admiration, 
was the sole fruit of the marriage, and great 
were the lamentations of the old Count and 
CJountess that the continuation of this noble stock 
rested on so frail a tenure, for the cliild was ex- 
ceedingly delicate ; she outgrew her strength, and 
for some years was supposed to be poitrinaire. 
But, either, thanks to the wounderful care that 
was bestowed upon her, or to an inherent good 
constitution, she survived this trying period and 
grew up to marriageable years, rewarding all the 
solicitude of her family by her charms and amia- 
bility. She was not so beautiful as her mother 



FAMILY LEGENDS 239 

had been — and even was still — but she was quite 
sufficiently handsome ; and there was so much 
grace in her movements and her manners, and 
she had such a noble and pure expression of 
countenance — a true indication of her character — 
that Adeline de LigneroUe's perfections were 
universally admitted by the men, and scarcely 
denied by the women, insomuch, that these 
attractions, added to her lineage and fortune, 
caused her to be looked upon as one of the most 
desirable matches in the kingdom. 

"Her father, the old Marquis de Ligne- 
roUes-Givry — for he was constrained to adopt the 
latter name — had died previous to this period; 
and as her grandfather Monsieur de Givry under- 
took the affair of her marriage, numerous were 
the propositions he privately received, and fre- 
quent the closettings and consultations on the 
subject. In these cases, the more people have, 
the more they require ; and as Adeline had better 
blood, and more money, than most people, the 
family exigence in these respects was considera- 
ble, and the difficulties that lay in the way of 
procuring a suitable alliance, manifold. 

*' She had reached the age of seventeen, and 



240 GHOST STORIES AND 

this important point was still unsettled, when she 
and her mother went to visit a relative of Ma- 
dame de Lignerolles, who was united to a Portu- 
guese nobleman. On her marriage, she had 
followed her husband to his own country ; but he 
was now on a mission to the French court ; and 
the Paris season being over, they had taken a 
chateau on the Loire, for the summer months. 
There were other young people in the house, and 
all sorts of amusements going on, which no one 
seemed to enjoy, at first, more than Adeline de 
Givfy ; but, at the end of a fortnight, a change 
began to be observable in her spirits and de- 
meanour, which did not escape the observation of 
her young companions; and by their means 
awakened the attention of Madame de Saldanha, 
their hostess ; who hinted to her cousin, Madame 
de Lignerolles, that Adeline was faUing in love 
with the young Count de la Cruz ; at least, such 
was the opinion of her own daughter, Isabella; 
adding, that if so abnormal a circumstance, as a 
young lady choosing her ow^n husband tvas to 
happen, she could not have fixed on a more de- 
sirable individual than Rodriguez de la Cruz, — a 
man unexceptionable in person, mind, and man- 



¥AMILY LEGENDS. 241 

ners ; whose genealogy might vie with that of the 
De Givry's themselves; aud whose name was 
associated with distinguished deeds of arms dur- 
ing the Holy Wars. 

" But this indulgent view of the case was 
not shared by Madame de LigneroUes. She 
seemed exceedingly surprised * and incredulous; 
but when the other insisted on the probability of 
such a result, since the two young people had 
been residing for six weeks under the same roof ; 
and pointed out to the lady that the assiduous 
attentions paid by De la Cruz to herself were, 
doubtless, not without an object, suggesting that 
that object was to gain her interest in his favour, 
she evinced so much displeasure and indignation, 
that Madame de Saldanha apologized and gave 
up the point, saying, she was very likely mis- 
taken, and that it was a mere fancy of Isabella's, 

" Nevertheless, these suspicions were per- 
fectly well founded. De la Cruz was waiting for 
his father's consent to make his proposals in 
form ; and this consent was only delayed till the 
old gentleman had time to come to Paris and 
make the needful inquiries regarding fortune 
and family ; about which, he considered himself 

If 



242 OHOST STOUIES AND 

entitled to be quite as jparticular as the De 
Giviy's. 

'^It was remarked that, from this time, 
Madame de Lignerolles observed her daughter 
with a jeak>us eye, and sought every means 
of keeping her away from the young Portuguese ; 
added to which, as it afterwards appeared, she 
severely reproved Adehne for what she called the 
levity <3f her conduct. 

** Moreover, she hastened her departure ; 
and in a few days after the conversation with 
Madaraa de Saldanha, took her leave ; ailing, 
that her presence was required by her father, in 
Paris. To Paris, however, she did not immedi- 
ately go. There was in Brittany an ancient 
chateau belonging to the family, which, for some 
reason or other, they very rarely visited ; it was 
supposed, because they possessed others more 
^eeable. At all events, whatever might be the 
aause, it was known that the old count liad a 
mortal aversion to this residence, insomuch, that 
his daughter had never been there since her 
infancy; when something very unpleasant was 
reported to have happened to her mother's 
eldest brother shortly before his death. Thither, 



FAMILT L£GBND8. 243 



however, they now travelied with aU speed, 
accompanied only by two maids and a man. 

''Madame de Lignerc^s was a person, in 
whom the maternal instinct had never been 
largely developed. She was even, stiB, at eight- 
and-thirty, a beautiful woman ; and it was gene- 
rally suspected, that she did not feel at all 
delighted at having this tall, handsome daughter, 
to proclaim her age ; and, perhaps shortly, make 
her a grandmother. But, her manner to Ade- 
line — usually, more indifferent than harsh — ^now 
assumed a new character ; she seemed engrossed 
with her own thoughts; was cold and con- 
strained ; spoke little ; and when she did, it was 
with a gravity truly portentous. 

" They were not unexpected at Chateau Noir 
•^r-for such was the ominous name of the old 
castle, which frowned upon them in the gloom of 
a dusky November evening ; but instead of the 
liveried servants, by whom they were accustomed 
to be greeted, an elderly housekeeper, a con- 
cierge, and a few rustic menials, appeared to be 
its only inhabitants. However, they had done 
their best to make ready for this visit ; fires were 
lighted, and dinner was prepared and served, ac- 

m2 



244 GHOST STORIES AKD 

ecmipamed by plenty of apolo^es for its not being 
better. 

'' The evening passed in silence ; they were 
tired, and went early to bed. The next two 
days, Mdme. de LigneroUes kept her room, and 
Addine strolled about the neglected grounds, oc- 
cupied with her own thoughts of the future, not 
without wondering a little at her mother's mys- 
terious behaviour. On the third day, she w as 
summoned to the presence of Mdme. de Lig- 
neroUes, who received and bade her be seated, 
with the same significant solemnity, and then 
proceeded to inform her that she had a most 
painful secret to communicate — a, secret that had 
long prest upon her conscience, but which she 
could never find resolution to disclose ; that 
lately, however, her confessor had so strongly 
urged her to perform this act of duty, that, with 
the greatest reluctance, she had resolved to obey 
his injunctions — ^her doing so having become 
more imperative from the fact of Adeline's having 
arrived at marriageable years, as in the event of 
any alliance presenting itself, honour would con- 
strain her to speak. The dreadful secret was^ 
that Adeline was not her child ; that the nurse 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 245 

who had had the charge of her infancy, confessed 
on her death-bed, that she had substituted her 
own infant for the countess's, that the latter had 
subsequently died, but that she could not leave 
the world in peace without avowing her crime. 

"'I did not believe her,' said Mdme. de 
LigneroUes, ' but she reminded me that my child 
had a mole under the left breast, which you, 
AdeUne, have not. This cruel change was ef- 
fected during our absence from France. Shortly 
after my confinement, I was ordered to spend the 
winter in Italy, and the child was left to the 
care of my father and mother, who by that time 
had nearly lost her eyesight* To this circum- 
stance, and the little notice men usually take of 
infants,^ the woman trusted to escape detection. 
Of course, I could not discern the difference be- 
tween the child I had left and the one I found. 
I had no suspicion ; and whatever alterations I 
remarked, I attributed to the lapse of time — 
though I must own that maternal instinct offered 
a strong confirmation of the nurse's confession. 
While I believed you my own offspring, I had 
none of those tender yearnings which I have 
heard other women speak of, and I often re- 



246' GHOSf staiiiE& and 

proaehed myself for the waiit of them. However, 
I eBdeavocrred to do my duty by you, and no 
pains or expense were spared on your education, 
which was already ne^trly completed. When I be- 
came acquainted with this dreadful secret, of 
which, when the nurse died, I Was the sole pos^ 
sessor. But, aware of the intense grief such a 
diselosui^ Would oceasldn my husband, who was 
then in excee^ivgly bad health, I determined 
during his lifetime to preserve silence. After his 
death, I ought to have exerted couri^ to speak ; 
but my mothei^ adored you — ^it would have killed 
her. She ia now gone, and there is onfy your 
grandfather left. I well know the suffering it 
will cause him, and, believe me, I feel for you — 
but my duty is piain. You will be amply pro- 
vided for-^' but ere fhe sentence could be 
finished, Adeline, who had sat hke a statue, 
listening to this harangue, with wondering eyes 
and open lips, suddenly rose and rushed out of 
th# rwm. That she was not Mdme. de Lig- 
nerolles daughter caused her little grief, nor was 
she of an ago v^ highly to appreciate the posi- 
tipU and ^Itodouts she Wlis k)sing; but she 
thought of h^ grandfather, whom she really 



FAMILY LEGENBS. 547 

loved ; she thoi^fet cf I>e la Cruz, and her heart 
filled with anguish. 

" She was not pursued to her retreat ; the 
whole day she kept her chamber, and Mdme. de 
lignerolles kept hers. On the Mowing mom- 
ing, a note was handed to her from Mdme. de L., 
anncFuncing that she was starting for Paris to 
communicate this distressing intelhgence to M. 
de Givry ; and (fcsiring Adeline to remain 
whene she was, mader the care of Mdme. Vertot, 
the housekeeper, till she received further direc- 
tioas ; assuring her, at the same time, that every- 
thing should be done for her happiness and wel- 
fare, and, in due time, a smtab\ej)arti be provided 
for her." 

Just as Monsieur de Venacour reached this 
point of his story, Madame de Montjerac re- 
turned from bathing, and if I looked at her with 

interest before, it may be well imagined how 
much more she inspired now. 

"* How extraordinary ! " I said, as my eyes 
rested on her noble countenance and nmjestic 
figure, " that that distinguished-looking woman 
is really the daughter of a good-for-nothing ser- 
vant ; and yet I should have said, if ever there 



24S GHOST 8TOBI£8 AND 

was a person who bore the nnmistakeable impress 
of aristocracy, it is she/' 

He nodded his head, and significantly lift- 
ing his fore-finger to the side of his nose, said 
" Ecoutez ! '* and forthwith proceeded with his 
narration as follows. 

'' On Madam de Lignerolle's arrival in Paris, 
she sent for her father, threw herself at his feet, 
and with tears and lamentations, disclosed this 
dreadful secret, which, she said, had been making 
the misery of her life for the last two years ; but 
whatever distress it occasioned her, it was quite 
evident thiat that of Monsieur de Givry was much 
more severe. He was wounded on all sides ; his 
pride, his love of lineage, his personal afiection 
for Adeline, and his horror of the notoriety such 
an extraordinary event must naturally acquire. 
So powerful were the two last sentiments, that 
for a moment he even entertained the idea of 
accepting Adeline as the heiress of Givry, and 
concealing the whole affair from her and every 
body else ; but to this proposition his daughter 
objected that the poor girl was already in 
possession of the truth, and that it was impos- 
sible to make her a party to such a deception. 



FAMILY LSGENDS. 249 

" f Then/ said Monsieur de Givry, * she must 
die ! There is no other expedient/ 

" ' Mais, non, mon pere ! ' cried Hermione, 
starting from her seat, evidently taken quite 
aback by this unexpected proposition. 

" De Givry waved his hand with a melancholy 
smile ; ' Enfant ! ' he said. ' Do you think I in- 
tend to become an assassin ? God forbid ! * 
And then he explained that he did not mean 
a real but a fictitious death, for which pur- 
pose she must be removed to a foreign coun- 
try, under the pretence of the re-appearance of 
pulmonary symptoms; that a husband must 
be found for her who would bind himself to leave 
France for ever, and to keep this secret, under 
pain of forfeiting the very handsome allowance 
he proposed to make them ; for the safe conduct 
of which part of the business, it would be neces- 
sary to confide their unhappy circumstances to 
the family physician and lawyer. In the mean- 
time, as these arrangements could not be made 
in a day, it was decided that AdeUne should re- 
main where she was till all was ready for their 
completion. 

'' ' I shall take her out of the country myself,' 

m3 



350 GHOST 8T0RISS AKD 

lie said, 'and yofu must aGCompany ns. Every 
consideration mnst be shown her; she is the 
Ytctim, and not the criminal/ 

In the course of this conversation, as may be 
imagined. Monsieur de Givry more than once 
lamented the extinction of his race ; his daughter, 
however, on that point, offered him some consola- 
tion, by suggesting that she was still a young 
woman, and that for her father's sake, although 
she had never intended to marry again, she would 
consent to do so provided she could meet with an 
unobjectionable parti. 

"Shortly after this melancholy disclosure, 
De la Cruz arrived with his father in Paris; 
where they were so well received by Madame de 
Lignerolles, that the old gentleman, fascinated 
by her beauty and manners, expressed his sur- 
prise that his son had not fallen in love with the 
mother, instead of the daughter. However, at 
his son's desire, he made formal propositions for 
the young lady's hand; which, to the surprise 
of the young man. Monsieur de Livry said, was 
already promised ; adding, however, that his 
granddaughter's state of health would, probably, 
retard the union; the physicians having dis- 



PAMILT LEGENDS. 251 

covered that the seeds of consumption were be- 
ginning to develope themselves in her consti- 
tution, and, consequently, recommended her 
removal to a warmer climate. 

" In the meanwhile, the poor young girl was 
pining alone in the dreary, old chateau, with no 
companion but her own maid, — ^receiving no 
intelUgence, and ignorant of her future fate. All 
she knew was, that she never could be the wife 
of Rodriguez de la Cruz. She supposed, that 
when he made his proposals, he would be in- 
formed of the circumstances above related, and 
that she should never hear more of him. But, in 
this, she was mistaken. About three weeks after 
her mother had left her, a letter from him arrived, 
saying, that he had succeeded in discovering 
were she was, and that he had lost no time in 
writing to inform her of the ill fortune that had 
attended his proposals ; adding, that if her sen- 
timents continued unchanged, he would come to 
Chateau Noir, accompanied by his own chaplain, 
who would unite them ; after which, he had no 

» 

doubt, it would be easy to obtain her grandfather's 
forgiveness ; he, probably, having only refused his 
consent because he was trammelled by a prior 
engagement. 



252 GHOST STORIES AND 

'^ But this letter was addressed to Mademoi- 
selle de LigneroUes ; and it was evident, from the 
whole tenour of it, that the writer knew nothing 
of the change in her fortunes. Honour forbad 
her to take advantage of this ignorance ; but the 
struggle threw her into agonies of grief. She 
passed a miserable day, and retired early to bed ; 
where she might indulge her tears, and avoid the 
curious eyes of her maid, who was greatly per- 
plexed at these unusual proceedings. Sleep was 
far from her eyes, and her mind was busy, fram- 
ing the answer she had to write on the following 
day to De la Cruz, when she heard a knock at 
her chamber door. 'Come in,' she said; not 
doubting that it was her maid, or Madame 
Vertot. Immediately, she heard the handle 
turned, and she saw in a mirror that was oppo- 
site, the door open, and a miserable, haggard- 
looking woman enter. She was attired in rags, 
and she led by the hand two naked children. 
They approached the foot of the bed, and the 
woman held out a letter, as if she wished Ade- 
line to take it, which she made an effort to do ; 
but a sudden horror seized her, and she uttered 
a scream which roused her maid who slept in the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 253 

adjmning apartment. She was found insensible ; 
but the usual applications restored her; and, 
without telling what had happened, she re- 
quested the servant to pass the rest of the 
night in her room. The next day, she felt very 
poorly in consequence of this horrid vision ; but 
she wrote to De la Cruz such a letter, as she felt 
her altered circumstances demanded. She could 
not bring herself to avow that she was the 
daughter of Robertine Collet; but sent him, 
simply, a cold, haughty refusal, which precluded 
all possibility of any further advances. The 
next day, she changed her room, and she saw no 
more of the frightful apparition. 

" She had done her duty to De la Cruz, but 
she was miserable ; and when, shortly afterwards, 
her grandfather arrived, accompanied by Dr. 
Pecher, the family physician, they found her ex- 
ceedingly ill, and confined to her bed. This Dr. 
Pecher was a clever and worthy man ; and hav- 
ing been necessarily made the confidant of the 
painful secret, it had been privately arranged 
between him and Monsieur de Givry, that he 
should marry the girl; and that they should, 
thereupon, quit the country, — ^Monsieur de G. 



264 GHOST STORIES AND 

making ample* provision for their future 
maintenance. 

" But the main thing needful, was to restore 
her to health; and in the course of his attend- 
ance on her, he learnt from her maid how she 
had been first attacked ; and then elicited from 
herself, the cause of her alarm. Of course, he 
looked upon the vision as an illusion ; in short, 
the premonitory symptoms of her illness, — ^and 
mentioned it in that light, to Monsieur de Givry. 
But to his surprise, Monsieur de G. took a dif- 
ferent view of the matter ; and hastening to 
Adeline's room, he made her repeat to him the 
exact description of what she had seen; after 
which, he started immediately for Paris, without 
explaining the motive of this sudden departure, 

" On his arrival, he presented himself before 
his daughter, and taxed her with having deceived 
him ; what her motive could be he was unable to 
imagine ; he supposed it to be pecimiary, and that 
she did not wish to part with the lai^e portion 
to be paid to Adeline on her marriage ; but he 
believed that the traditionary apparition of his 
family would not have appeared to any one who 
was not a member of it ; and that therefore the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 255 

girl, who had accurately described the appearance 
of these figures, of which the young people were 
always kept in entire ignorance, must be actually 
his granddaughter. 

" Madame de Lignerolles persisted in her 
story, and all she could be brought to own 
was, that it was possible, the woman, Collett, 
had deceived her. Strong in his own opinion. 
Monsieur de Givry returned to Chateau Noir, Dr. 
Pecher having recommended the young lady's 
removal ; and after writing his daughter a very 
urgent and serious letter, he started on a tour of 
a few weeks, with Adeline, for the recovery of her 
health. 

" No answer reached him for sometime, but 
at the end of a month, he received one, acknow- 
ledging the cruel deception she had practiced, 
alleging as her excuse, an ardent passion for 
Rodriguez de la Cruz ; and the wish to detach 
him from Adeline, and marry him herself. But 
she had failed, and he was on the point of mar- 
riage with a lady selected for him by his father. 
The letter concluded by the announcement, that 
she was about to retire to a convent where she 
should, in due time, take the veil 



256 GHOST STORIES AND 

'' Monseinr de Giviy assumed this to be a 
mere ebullition of shame and disi^pointment ; 
but she kept her word. Mademoiselle de Lig- 
nerolles, some years later, married the Baron de 
Montjerac, from whom, said Monsieur de Yen- 
acour, I heard the stoiy. By him she had 
two sons ; but the constant apprehension that in 
the eldest will be fulfilled the mauvais destin 
entailed on the heirs of Givry, preys, it is said, 
on her mind and health, and is the cause of the 
expression of melancholy for which her fine 
countenance is so remarkable. 

*• Some centuries earlier, when power was 
irresponsible. Count Armand de Givry, a cruel 
and oppressive lord of the soil, who then inha- 
bited Chateau Noir, had put to death one of his 
serfs, and turned his wife and two children out 
of doors in inclement weather, forbidding any of 
his tenants to shelter or assist them. The children 
were without clothes, and the three poor creatures 
perished from cold and starvation, but leaving 
behind them a terrible retribution, in the form of 
a curse pronounced by the wretched woman's 
lips in her dying agonies, which, strange to say, 
seems to have been pretty literally fulfiilled. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 257 

"When they were nearly at the last extre- 
mity, some good Christian had had the courage 
to write a pathetic letter for her, which, however, 
it was necessary she should deliver herself, as no 
one else durst do it. She watched her oppor- 
tunity ; concealed herself in the park, and way- 
laid the Count as he returned one day from 
shooting. But instead of taking the letter, he set 
his dogs upon her, who would have torn her to 
pieces, but for the courageous interference of one 
of his followers. 

" The curse ran, that never should the heir of 
Givry prosper till one of them took the letter ; 
and that the last scion of the house should 
Ile?iier le croiw et se vcmer a VEnfer. 

" Since that, it was said that, no eldest son or 
daughter of the house of Givry had lived and 
prospered, whilst the letter, in some way or other 
had been offered to every one of them; but 
as the cadets of the family lived and married and 
prospered like other people, they did not choose 
to believe in the story ; at least, whatever their 
secret thoughts on the subject may have been, 
they publicly threw ridicule on the tradition, 
whenever it was alluded to; but Monsieur de 



258 GH08T STORIES A5D 

Gnrry had snfficieait £uth in it to believe, thai if 
Adeline had been the daughter dT Sobertine 
Collet^ she woidd never have been visited by the 
ghost of Madeleine Dc^ne and her children." 



FAMILY LEOENI^S. 259 



THE SWISS LADY'S STORY. 

" It was not I/' said Madame de Geirsteche ; 
" it was my mother who saw the apparition you 
have heard of ; but I can tell you all the par- 
ticulars of the story if you have patience to listen 
to it." 

" You would be conferring a great favour/* 
I said ; "from what I have heard of the circum- 
stance, I am abeady much interested." 

We were in the steamboat that plies be- 
tween Vevay and Geneva when this conversation 
occurred, and as there could not be a more con- 
venient opportunity of hearing the narration, we 
retired from the crowd of travelkra that thronged 
the deck, and Madame de G. began as fol- 
lows. 

" My husband's father, the elder Monsieur 
Geirsteche, was acquainted with two young men 
named Zwengler. He was at school and at col- 
1^ with them, and their intimacy continued 



360 GBOn StOROS AKB 

after their edncatuHi was finisl^. When one 
was fourteen and the other ten, they had the 
miskfrivme to lose both their parents by an acci- 
dent. They were crossing the Alps, when by tlie 
fall of an avalanche their carriage was overtamed 
down a precipice, and they and their servants 
perished. 

" The Zwenglers were people of good family 
bnt small fortune; and as they had always livedfully 
up to what they had, their property, when it came 
to be divided between their four children, for they 
had two daughters besides the sons I have named, 
afforded but an inadequate portion to each ; but 
this misfortune was mitigated by their rich rela- 
tions — a wealthy uncle adopted the boys, and an 
equally wealthy aunt took the girls. This was 
but just, for they had both been enriched by 
what ought to have been the inheritance of the 
other sister, the mother of these children, who, 
having married Monsieur Zwengler contrary to 
the wishes of her parents, was cut off with a shil- 
ling. This uncle and aunt had never married, 
for their father objected to every match that was 
proposed, as not sufficiently advantageous ; whilst 
the brother and sister, taking warning by the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 261 

fate of Madame Zwengler, preferred living single 
to the risk of incurring the same penalty. The 
daughters having good fortunes married early, 
and I beheve did well enough; it is on the 
history of the sons that my story turns. 

"As I mentioned, they were at the same 
school with my husband's father when the cata- 
strophe happened to their parents, and he re- 
membered afterwards the different mann^ in 
which the news had affected them ; Alfred's grief 
was apparently stormy and violent ; that of the 
other was less demonstrative, but more genuine. 
Alfred, in short, was secretly elated at the inde- 
pendence he expected would be the consequence 
of this sudden bereavement ; and he lost no time 
in assuming over Louis the importance and au- 
thority of an elder brother. Louis was an enthu- 
siastic, warm-hearted, and imaginative child, too* 
young to appreciate his loss in a worldly point of 
view, but mourning his parents — especially his 
mother — sincerely* 

" Alfred's hopes of independence were con- 
siderably abated, when he found himself under 
the guardianship of Mr. Altorf, his uncle, a proud, 
pompous, tenacious, arbitrary man ; on the other 



262 GHOST STORIES AND 

hand, he was somewhat consded by tlie expecta- 
tion of becoming the heir to his large fortune, the 
magnitude of which he had frequently heard 
descanted on by his parents. He soon dis- 
covered, too, that as the heir expectant he had 
acquired an importance that he had never en- 
joyed before ; and in order to make siu'e of these 
advantages, he n^lected no means of recom- 
mending himself to the old gentleman, insomuch, 
that Mr. Altorf, being very fond of the study of 
chemistry, Alfred affected great delight in the 
same pursuit, sacrificing his own inclinations to 
shut himself up in his uncle's laboratory, with 
crucibles and chemicals tliat he often wished 
might be consumed in the furnace they employed. 
Louis, the while, pursued his studies, thoughtless 
of the future as young people usually are ; but as 
he advanced in age, he began to exhibit symp- 
toms of a faiUng constitution, and as the law for 
which his uncle designed him required more 
study than was compatible with health, lie vras 
allowed to follow his inclination and become a 
soldier. With this view, he was sent to Paris, 
and committed to the surveillance of a friend of 
his uncle there, who was in the French service. 



FAMULT LEGENDS. 2€S 

''No ^fession being proposed for Alfred^ 
he lived on with his uncle, confirmed in the be- 
lief that tiiough his brother, if he survived, would 
be remembeared in the dW man's will, he Wmself 
should ifiifcOTit the bulk of the property. It was 
a weary life to him, shut up half the day in the 
laboratory, that he detested, in constant associa- 
tion with an uncongenial companion. Moreover, 
up to the period of his being of age, he was kept 
almost entirely without money, and was excluded 
from all the pleasures suitable to his years. 
When he attained his majority, he became pos- 
sessed of the small patrimony that devolved on 
him as the eldest son of his father, and was en- 
abled to make himself some amends for the pri- 
vations he had previously submitted to. Not 
that he threw off his uncle's authority, or became 
openly less submissive and conformable; but 
secretly he contrived to procure himself many re- 
laxations and enjoyments, from which he had 
before been shut out ; and in the attaining and 
purchasing these pleasures he freely squandered 
all the proceeds of his inheritance, reckoning 
securely on the future being well provided for. 
" His uncle inhabited a villa outside of Geneva, 



264 GHOST STORIES AND 

on the road to Eerney^ and seldom came into the 
town, except when he visited his banker. His 
chemicals and other articles, Alfred usually pur- 
chased, and he had made acquuntance with 
several young men, whose society and amuse-^ 
menls he availed himself of these opportunities 
to enjoy. One frosty day in December, he was 
strolling arm in arm with some of these youths, 
when, on turning a corner, he unexpectedly saw 
sailing down the street before them, the massive 
figure of his uncle, attired in his best chocolo^ 
suit, his hair powdered, and a long pigtail hang- 
ing down his back. The au' of conscious im- 
portance and pomposity with which he strode 
along, amused these gay companions, and they 
were diverting themselves at the old gentleman's 
expense, when his foot slipped on a slide, and he 
fell down. This was irresistible; and they all 
burst into a simultaneous shout of laughter. A 
passer by immediately assisted him to rise ; and 
as he did so, he tm'ued round to see from whence 
the merriment proceeded — perhaps he had recog- 
nised his nephew's voice — at all events, Alfred 
felt sure he sawy if he did not heaVy and thought 
it prudent to apologise for his ill-timed hilarity, 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 265 

which he sought to excuse by alleging that he 
had not at first been aware who it was that had 
fallen. Mr. Altorf looked stern ; but as he said 
nothing, and never alluded to the subject again, 
Alfred congratulated himself at having got off so 
well, and endeavoured to efface any unpleasant 
impression that might remain by extra attentions 
and compliances. 

" Everything went on as usual till the following 
year, when one morning the old gentleman was 
found dead in his bed, and the medical men 
pronounced that he had expired in a fit of 
apoplexy. 

" When the will — which was dated several 
years back — came to be read, it was found that 
after two trifiing legacies, and five thousand 
pounds to Louis, the whole estate was bequeathed 
to Alfred, whose breast dilated with joy, as the 
words fell upon his ear, although it i^as no more 
than he was prepared for ; but the first flush of 
triumph had not subsided, when the lawyer ar- 
rested the incipient congratulations of the com- 
pany, by saying, ' Here is a codicil, I see, dated 
the fourteenth of December, last year." 

"The company resumed their seats, and a 

N 



266 GHOST STORIES AHD 

eold diill crept diroogk Alfred s ¥eiiis, as the 
reader proceeded as fdiows. : — 

'^' I her dbj revoke the bequest hereabove macb 
to my n^hew Alfred Zwei^ler, and I give and 
beqaei^ the idiole of my estates, real and per- 
sonal, to my iiq)hew, Loois Zwengler. To my 
nefbew, Alfred Zwengler, I give and bequeath 
my bust, which stands on the hall tabk. It is 
accounted a good hkeness, and when I am gone, 
it will serve to keep him merry. May he have 
many a hearty laugh at it— -on the wrong side of 
his mouth/ 

" The auditors looked confounded on hearing 
this extraordinary paragraph, but Alfred under- 
stood it too well. 

" It is imnecessary to dwell upon his feel- 
ings; a quarter of an hour ago he was one of the 
richest men of his cauton— now there were not 
many poorer in all Switzerland than Alfred 
Zwengler. He had awakened from his tong 
dream of wealth and importance, and habits of 
expense, to poverty and utter insignificance ; 
while Louis, whom he had always despised — 
Louis, over whom he had domineered, and as- 
sumed the airs of an elder brother and a great 



FAMILY LfiOENI^S. 267 

man, had leapt into hk tiboe^ at oae bouail, and 
left him grosrelling in the mud. How he hated him. 
" Biit he might die ; what letters they had had 
from Paris reported him very sickly ; he might 
be killed in battle, for Europe was full of wars 
in those days ; but he might do neither; and at all 
events, in the meantime what was Alfred to do ? 
A thousand wild and desperate schemes passed 
through his brain for bettering his situation, but 
none seemed practicable. The sole remnant of 
the property he had inherited from his father, 
that still remained in his possession, was a house 
in Geneva, called I'Hotel Dupont, that he had 
mortgaged to nearly its full value, intending at 
his uncle's death, to pay the money and redeem 
it. It had been let, but was now empty and 
under repair, and the creditors talked of seUing it 
to pay themselves. But Alfred induced them to 
wait, by giving out that as soon as his brother 
understood his situation, he would advance the 
necessary sum to relieve him. Perhaps he really 
entertained this expectation, but he had no pre- 
cise right to do so, for he liad never given Louis 
a crown piece, though the latter had suffered 
much more from his uncle's parsimony than he 

N 2 



268 6H08T STORIES AND 

had, having inherited nothing whatever from his 
parents. However, Alfred wrote to Louis, dating^ 
his letter from that house, dilating on his diffi- 
culties, and the hardness of his fate, and hinting 
that, had he come into possession of his unde's 
fortune, as he had every right to expect he 
should, how he should have felt it his duty to act 
towards an only brother. 

" He received no answer to this appeal ; and, 
at first, he drew very unfavourable conclusions 
from his brother's silence ; but, as time went on, 
and Louis neither appeared to take possession of 
his inheritance, nor wrote to account for his 
absence, hope began once more to dawn in 
the horizon ; the brighter, that no letters what- 
ever arrived from him ; even the lawyers who had 
applied for mstructions, received no answer. 
The last letter his uncle had had from him, had 
mentioned the probability of his joining the 
Republican forces in the south, if his health per- 
mitted him to do so. Altogether, there certainly 
were grounds for anxiety or hope, as it might be ; 
I need not say which it was on this occasion. 
Rumours of bloody battles, too, prevailed, in 
which many had fallen. Even the creditors 



TAMILT LEGENDS* 269 

were content to wait, not being inclined to push 
to extremity a debtor, who might be on the 
verge of prosperity, for it was not Kkely that 
Louis would make a will ; and it was even pos- 
sible that he might have died before his uncle. 
In either case, Alfred was the undoubted heir ; 
and, accordingly, he began once more to taste 
some of the sweets of fortune ; — hats were doffed, 
hands were held out to him, and one or two 
sanguine spirits went so far as to offer loans of 
small sums and temporary accommodation. 

"At length, affairs being in this state of 
uncertainty, the lawyers thought it necessary to 
investigate the matter, and endeavour to ascer- 
tain what was become of the heir. Measures 
were accordingly taken, which evidently kept 
Alfred in a violent state of agitation; but the 
result, apparently, made him amends for all he 
had suffered. It was proved that Louis, with 
his military friend, had joined the Republican 
forces in the south, but was supposed to have 
perished in an encounter with the Chouans; 
nobody could swear to having seen him dead; 
but, as the Republicans had been surprised and 
fallen into an ambush, they had been obliged to 
retreat, leaving their dead upon the field. 



270 GHOST STORIES AND 

" This being the case, the property was given 
up to Alfred; a portion being sequestered, in 
order that it might accumulate for a certain 
number of years, for the purpose of refunding: 
the original heir, should he— contrary to all ex- 
pectation — ^reappear. If not, at the expiration of 
tMat term, the sequestrated portion would be 
released. 

" Alfred Zwengler was now at the summit of 
his wishes ; and one might have thought, would 
have felt the more intense satisfaction, in the 
possession of his wealth, from the narrow escape 
he had had of losing it ; but this did not seem 
to be the case. He had, formerly, been very 
fond of society, though he had few opportunities 
of entering into it; but when he had, nobody 
enjoyed it more. Now, he did nqt shun man- 
kind ; on the contrary, he sought their company ; . 
but he was moody, silent, and apparently un- 
happy. People said, that he lived in constant 
fear of his brother's turning up again and re- 
claiming his inheritance. It might be so; no- 
body knew the cause of the change in him, for he 
was uncommunicative, even to his nearest ac- 
quaintance. 



TAMILY LKOEIfDe. 271 

'' One thing, tiiAt gave colour to this suppositicm 
was, that he eridently di^ed to hear Louk 
named ; and whenever he was alluded to, he in- 
variably asserted that he did not believe he was 
dead, and that he expected every day to see him 
come back. After saying this, it was observed 
that, he would turn deathly pale, — rising from 
his chair, and walking about the room in mani- 
fest agitation. 

"Preferring the town to the country, Mr. 
Zwengler had declared his intention of resid- 
ing in his own house, which had lately been 
repaired imder his special directions, and fitted 
up with all the appliances of comfort and ele- 
gance ; but he was scarcely settled there before 
he took a sudden and unaceountable dishke to it, 
and offered it for sale. As it was an exeeUcai 
property, Mr. Geirsteche, my husband's fether 
bought it ; and Mr. Zwengler purchased asotJaier 
house and removed his furniture thither. 

^ Mr. Geirsteche had no intentioQ o£ Uving 
in the house ; he bought it as an investment ; for 
being ^tuated in one dT the best streets of the 
city, it was sure to let well ; and accordingly it 



272 GHOST STORIES AND 

was not long before he found an eligible tenant 
in Mr. Bautte, an eminent watchmaker of Greneva^ 
who furnished it handsomely. He was very rich, 
and wanted it for his family, who expressed them- 
selves deUghted with their new residence. Never- 
theless, they had not been in it three months before 
they expressed a desire to live in the environs of 
the city rather than in it. As Mr. Bautte had 
taken a long lease of the house, he put up a 
ticket announcing that it was to be let. A gen- 
tleman from Lucerne, named Maurice, who had 
just married his sister's governess, and wished 
therefore to reside at a distance from his family, 
took it for three years, with the option of keeping 
it on for whatever term he pleased at the end of 
that period. He gave directions for the furnishing, 
and when it was ready, they came to Geneva and 
took up their abode in their new house. At the 
end of a year, they applied to Mr. Bautte for 
permission to sub-let the house. There was no 
such provision in the agreement, and Mr. Bautte 
at first, we were told, objected, but consented 
after an interview with Mr. Maurice. But these 
frequent removals had begun to draw observa- 
tion, and it began to be rumoured that there was 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 27S 

something objectionable about the Hotel du 
Pont. The common people whispered that it was 
haunted; some said it was infested with rats; 
others that it was ill drained ; in short, it got a 
bad reputation, and nobody was willing to take 
it. Mr. Maurice and his wife, who were gone to 
Paris for a few months, and had not yet removed 
their furniture, being informed of this, advertised 
it to be let furnished. So many strangers come 
to Geneva, that there is no want of tenants for 
good furnished houses, and it was soon engaged 
by a French family from Dijon. They took it for 
a year, but at the end of that time they left it for 
a residence much inferior in every respect, and 
yet more expensive; the rent Mr. Maurice asked 
being very moderate. 

" I don't know who were the next tenants, 
but family after family took the house, for it was 
a very attractive one, but nobody lived in it long. 
When Mr. Maurice's three years had expired, 
Mr. Bautte bought his furniture, and continued 
to let the house furnished. He would have been 
glad to sell his lease, which was for thirty years, 
but nobody was inclined to buy it. 

" I now, said Madame de G. come to that part 

n3 



274 GHOST STOBUS AUD 

of tl^ story that concerns my mother. I have 
frequently heard tiie story from her own lips^ and 
nothing made her so angry as to see people listen 
to it with incredulity. My grandfather, Mr. 
Colman, was, as you are aware, much given to 
the pursuit of literature, and as that is one that 
seldom brings wealth, his means were somewhat 
restricted, although he had a small independance 
of his own. He had three daughters and two 
sons, and when his family had outgrown their 
childhood, and my mother, who was the eldest, 
had attained the age of seventeen, they came to 
Geneva for the sake of giving the young people, 
some advantages of education that he could not 
afford them in England ; besides there was a good 
deal of literary society to be had here then, and 
the place was cheaper than it is now. 

"Having no acquaintance, they apphed on 
their arrival to an agent, who offered them 
several houses and L'Hotel du Pont amongst 
the number. At jfirst they were about to de- 
cline it as a residence beyond their means ; 
but when the rent was named, they took it im- 
mediately. It was so far the best house they had 
seen, and the cheapest, that when the agreement 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 275 

was signed, they expressed their surprise to the 
agent, at what appeared the unreasonable de- 
mands of the other proprietors. 

" ' Why, this house is particularly situated, 
sir,' said the agent. ' The gentleman who fur- 
nished it was obliged to leave Geneva almost 
immediately after he had settled himself here ; 
and he being absent, and caring more for a good 
tenant than a high rent, we don't stand out for 
a price as people must do when they look to n^ke 
money by a house/ 

" Mr. Colman congratulated himself on his 
good luck in finding such a liberal proprietor, 
and in a few days he and his family were com- 
fortably established in the Hotel du Pont. The 
only difficulty they had found was in procuring 
servants. They had one English maid with them, 
and, at last, they succeeded in getting two girls 
as cook and housemaid. The latter was a Ger- 
man, who had been brought there by a family 
who had gone on to Italy ; and the former was 
a Frenchwoman, who had married a gentleman's 
valet, and had followed him from Paris to 
Geneva. 

"As soon as everything was arranged, they 



276 GHOST STORIES AND 

resumed their usual habits — one of which was, 
that for an hour or two before they went to bed 
the father read aloud to them, in a room they 
called the Ubrary — ^it was, in fact, his writing- 
room — whilst the ladies worked. A few evenings 
after they had recommenced this practice, a dis- 
cussion arose between Mr. Colman and his eldest 
daughter, Mary, as to the precise meaning of a 
French word, and the dictionary had to be ap- 
pealed to to decide the question. Mary said it 
was in her bed-chamber, and left the room to 
fetch it. The library was on the ground-floor, 
and the staircase was a broad, handsome one 
as far as the first flight ; it had been made by 
Alfred Zwengler when the house was repaired, 
and there was a wide landing at the top, the whole 
being lighted sufBciently for ordinary purposes by 
a lamp that hung in the hall. The stairs were 
very easy of ascent, and my mother — I mean 
Mary — for she was afterwards my mother, who 
was a hvely, active girl, w^as springing up two 
steps at a time, when, to her amazement, she saw 
a gentleman in uniform standing on the landing- 
above. She stopt suddenly, but as he did not 
appear to notice her, she continued to ascend, 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 277 

concluding it was some stranger, who had got 
into the house by mistake, for he did not look 
a thief ; but when she reached the landing he 
was gone. She stood at first bewildered. There 
were four doors opening into bedrooms, but they 
Avere all shut ; and after thinking a moment, she 
concluded it was the shadow of some cloaks and 
hats, and sticks, that were hanging in the hall, 
that had deceived her. She did not pause to 
consider how this could be, but turned into her 
own room ; felt for the book, which she remem- 
bered to have left on her bed and ran down stairs 
again to her father ; so occupied with the dis- 
puted question, that for the moment she forgot 
what had happened, and as her father resumed 
his reading immediately, she did not mention it. 
When they were going to bed, and they were 
lighting their candles in the hall, she said, ' you 
can't think what a start I had this evening when 
I went for the dictionary. It must have been the 
shadow of those cloaks and things, but I could 
have declared I saw an officer in uniform standing 
at the top of the stairs. I even saw his epaulette 
smd the colour of his clothes.' 

" ' La ! Mary/ said one of the younger ones, 
' wer*nt you frightened ? ' 



278 GHOST STORIES AND 

" 'Frightened ! no, why should I be frightened 
at a shadow ? ' 

" ' Or a handsome young officer either/ said 
one of the boys. 

" She playfully gave him a tap on the head, 
and they all went to bed, thinking no more of 
the matter. 

" The kitchen was at the back of the house, 
on the same floor as the library, and a few even- 
ings after this occurrence, one of the girls being 
in the store-room, heard sounds of distress pro- 
ceeding thence; and on opening the kitchen- 
door, to inquire what was the matter, she saw 
Jemima, the English girl, in hysterics, and the 
other two standing over her, sprinkling her face 
with water. They said that she had left the 
kitchen to fetch some worsted to mend her 
master's stockings, but that before she could 
have got up stairs, she had rushed back again, 
thfbwn herself into a chair, and ^ gone off' as they 
expressed it. On hearing the noise, Mr. and Mrs. 
Golman joined them, but, for a long time, they 
could extract nothing from her — but that she 
had seen something. My grandfather asked if it 
was a rat, or a robber ! but she only shook her 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 27.^ 

head ; and it was not till they had all left the 
kitchen and sent her a glass of wine, that slie 
was sufficiently collected to tell them that, as she 
got to the foot of the stairs, she saw an officer in 
uniform, going up before her. He had his cap 
in his hand, and his sword at his side ; and sup- 
posing he was some friend of her master's, she 
was going to follow him up; but when he 
reached the landing, to her surprise and horror, 
he disappeared tfirough the wall. 

" When the family heard this, combining it 
with what had happened to Mary — though the 
circumstance had never been mentioned in the 
hearing of the servants; nor, indeed, even al- 
luded to a second time — they began to ask them- 
selves whether it was possible any such person 
could get into the house? and they examined 
every part of it with care, but found nothing 
that threw a light on the mystery. After this, 
• Jemima was afraid to go up stairs alone at night, 
and Gretchen shared her fears ; but the French- 
woman laughed at them both, and said she 
should hke to see a ghost that would Mghten 
her. One night, however, about nine o'clock, 
when the family were in the library, they sud- 



280 GHOST STORIES AND 

denly heard a great noise upon the stairs, as if 
something had fallen from the top to the bottom, 
and when they all rushed out to see what was 
the matter, they found the cook lying across the 
lower step in a state of insensibility, and the 
coalscuttle upset beside her, with its contents 
scattered around. They carried her into the 
library, and when she revived, she insisted on 
immediately leaving the house ; she would not 
sleep in it another night on any account what- 
ever, and away she went. Gretchen and Jemima 
said, they were sure she had seen the ghost, but 
was too proud to own it, after turning their fears 
into ridicule; and the family began to be very 
much perplexed. 

" My grandfather had a truly philosophical 
mind, and did not think it a proof of \\isdom to 
hold decided opinions on subjects that he had 
not investigated. He had never believed in spi- 
ritual appearances, but he had never thought 
seriously on the subject at all, and did not feel 
himself quaUfied to assert that such things were 
impossible. Certainly, it was a singular coinci- 
dence, that Jemima's description of the apparition 
exactly coincided with what my mother had seen ; 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 281 

and though the Frenchwoman had confessed to 
nothing, yet it was at the same hour and the 
same place that she had taken fright. He tried, 
whether — by placing the cloaks and the lamp in 
certain relative positions — ^he could produce any 
reflection that might deceive the eye ; but there 
was not the most remote approximation to such a 
thing ; in short, he perceived that that explana- 
tion of the appearance was altogether inad- 
missible. 

" ' Well,' he said, ' if anybody sees this figure 
again, I beg they will call me ! ' 

" They were not a nervous family, I suppose ; 
my mother was quite the reverse, I know. I 
never saw anybody with more courage; at all 
events, they do not seem to have been alarmed, 
though both the boys afterwards saw the same 
figure on the same spot, and ran to call their 
father ; but when Mr. Colman came it was gone. 
However, they declared they had seen it cross 

the landing; and that it had seemed to them, to 
walk through the wall, just as Jemima had 
described. 

" Some weeks after this, towards the same 

hour, as Mr. Colman was about to commence 



282 GHOST STORIES AKD 

reading aloud, he discovered that he had left his 
spectacles in the pocket of his coat, when he 
dressed for dinner; and my mother, who was 
always alert and active, left the room to fetch 
them. Presently, she re-entered the room, — 
pale, and somewhat agitated, but perfectly col- 
lected; and said, that when she had ascended 
tlie stairs about half-way, she heard a slight 
rustle above, which caused her to raise her eyes ; 
when she saw, distinctly, the same figure she had 
seen before. 'I was not frightened!' she said, 

* and I stopt with one foot on the next stair, and 
looked at it steadily, that I might be sure I was 
not under a delusion. The face was pale, and 
it looked at me with such a sad expression, that 
I thought if it was really a ghost, it might wish 
to say something ; so I asked it.' 

'' ' Asked it ! ' they all exclaimed. ' What 
did you say ? ' 

" ' I said, if you have anything to conuuu- 
nicate, I conjure you — speak ! ' 

"^\nddidit/ 

" ' No,' answered Mary, ' but it made a 
sign—' 

" ' Good Heavens !' said Mrs. Colman, 

* do you know what you're saying ?' 




FAMILY LEGENDS. 283^ 

*' ' Perfectly,' said Mary, calmly. ' AVith one 
hand it pointed to the wall — ^just where Jemima 
and the boys saw it go in — and with the other 
it made a movement, as if it was^ going to strike 
the wall with something heavy/ 

" * Perhaps there's some money buried there,* 
said one of the boys. 

"Mr. Colman, who had hitherto been a silent 
but amazed Ustener to his daughter's narration,, 
asked her what the gesture appeared to signify. 

" ' It was as if it wanted the wall to be pulled 
down — at least, I thought so. I wish I had 
asked if that was what it wished, but I had not 
presence of mind ; if I see it again, I will.' 

" ' But we could not pull down the wall, youi 
know, my dear,' said Mrs. Colman. 

"'I suppose we might, if we engaged ta 
build it up again,' suggested one of the party. 

" ' But if we told anybody, we should not get 
the money,' said the boys. 

*' ' Hush !' said Mary, ' Don't speak in that 
way ; think what a solemn thing it is. I shall 
never forget his face — never, to the day of my 
death ; and it looked at me so gratefully when I 
spoke to it, and then it disappeared into the wall/ 



284 GHOST StORIBS 

** Of coarse this extraordinanr occurrence 
formed the subject of conversation for the rest of 
the evening, and Mr. Colman narrowly questioned 
his daughter with regard to the particulars ; but 
her stoiy was always consistent, and as he had a 
very high opinion of Mary's courage and sense, 
the circumstance made so much impression on 
him, that he set about making enquiries as to the 
owner and antecedents of the house. It was 
difficult to obtain much information — for saying 
a house is haunted, is an injm^' to the landlord, 
and sometimes brings people into trouble — but 
he ascertained that it had had several tenants, 
that nobody had staid in it long, and that one of 
the persons who had inhabited it for a short time, 
was Mr. Bautte himself, whereupon he resolved 
to pay him a visit. 

Mr. Bautte, as I have mentioned, was a watch- 
maker ; and though very rich, still attended to 
his trade, so that it was easy to obtain an inter- 
view with him. Mr. Colman called at his place 
of business, which was not a shop, but a room on 
the first floor of a private house. He asked about 
the engraving of a seal that he had to his watch- 
chain ; and then, having ascertained which was 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 285 

Mr.. B., he told him he was his tenant. Mr. B. 
bowed and said, ' I hope you like the house, sir/ 

" My grandfather said that, perhaps, he 
might not have observed it but for what had 
happened, but that he fancied this was said with 
a sort of misgiving, as if he was conscious that 
there was something objectionable about the house. 

" ' Why,' said my grandfather, drawing him 
rather aside, ' I like the house very much ; but 
there's one great inconvenience about it — ^we 
can't get any servants to stay with us. One has 
left us already, and the others have given us 
warning, and nobody seems willing to come in 
their places. I understand you lived in the house 
yourself a short time ; may I ask if you found 
any similar difficulty ?' 

" ' Well, sir,' said Mr. Bautte, trying to look 
unconcerned, ' you ai^c aware how ignorant and 
foolish such people are — I fancy from the con* 
struction of the house that the sounds from the 
next door penetrate the waDs.' 

" ' We hear no sounds,' said Mr. Colmaa. 
* I have heard no complaints of any. Did any of 
your family ever say they saw anything extra- 
ordinaiy there ? ' 



286 GHOST STORIES AKD 

'^ ' Well, sir, since you put the question so 
direcdy, I can't deny that the female part o£ my 
family did assert something of the sort; but 
women have generally a tendency to superstition^ 
and are easily tCTrified/ 

" ' Very true/ said Mr. Colman, * but I should 
take it as a great favour if you would tell me 
what they said they saw — I have no idea of 
leaving the house; you need not be afraid of 
that ; and of course I shall not mention this con- 
versation to any one — what did they say they 
saw?' 

" Mr. Bautte thus exhorted,{confessed that his 
family, and everybody who had lived in the house, 
asserted that they had seen the apparition of a 
young man in uniform, who always appeared 
on the stairs or the landing ; adding, that he 
himself had never seen it, although he had put 
himself in the way of it repeatedly, and he firmly 
believed it was some extraordinary delusion or 
optical deception, though it was impossible to 
account for its affecting so many persons in the 
same way. 

" My grandfather then told him what had 
occurred in his family ; especially to his eldest 



FAMILY LEGENBS. 267 

daughter, in whose testimony, he assured Mr. 
Bautte, he placed the greatest reliance ; and he 
ventured to propose an examination of the spot, 
where the figure was said invariably to disappear. 
At first, Mr. Bautte laughed at the idea ; for — 
besides his scepticism, which made him unwilling 
to take any proceeding that countenanced what 
he considered an absurd superstition — ^he urged, 
that the staircase and landing in question, were 
of very recent erection, being one of Mr. 
Zwengler's improvements when he repaired the 
house. However, after a short argument, 
wherein my grandfather represented that nobody 
but the parties concerned need know the real 
reason for what they did, that the expense 
would be small, and the possible result beneficial 
to the property, Mr. Bautte consented, provided 
Mr. Geierstecke made no objection ; he being 
still the owner of the house. 

" Mr. G., who, you know, was my husband's 
father, was aware that the Hotel du Pont had 
frequently changed its tenants, but was quite ig- 
norant of the cause. He had no immediate 
interest in the matter, as Mr. Bautte held a 
thirty-years lease, and ha naturally assumed that 



288 GHOST STORIES AKD 

these frequent 'changes were purelj acddbntal. 
Everybody, who became acquainted with* the 
house, had a strong motive for keqiing the 
secret; for — ^besides the ridicule and penalty 
they might have incurred — they all wanted to 
get it off their hands. It's true, that amongst 
the servants and common people of the ndlgh-* 
bourhood, there were strange whispers going 
about; the source of which it would not have 
been easy to trace. A glazier said he knew 
a man, who had heard another declare, that he 
was acquainted with a bricklayer, who had 
helped to build the staircase ; who used to say, 
he did uot wonder that nobody could live in the 
Hotel du Pont ; and that it was his opinion that 
nobody ever would be able to live in it ; and a 
woman who kept a shop opposite, had been 
heard to say, that she saw somebody go into that 
house that never came out again ; but whenever 
she alluded to this subject, her husband always 
reproved her, and told her she did not know 
what she was talking about. 

"This gossip had, however, never reached 
Mr. Geierstecks, and he was exceedingly sur- 
prised when Mr. Bautte communicated Mr. 



PAMILT LEGENDS. 289 

CdniiEin's proposal, and the reason of it. He 
immediately called upon my grandfather, who 
recited the circmnstances to him, and introduced 
my mother; from whose Ups he wished to hear 
the account of her two rencontres with the 
ghost ; and also, a particular d^cription of its 
appearance. At the commencement of his visit, 
he was incUned to be jocular on the subject ; but 
after he had seen my mother, and heard her 
describe the dress of the apparition, which was 
that of an officer in the Republican army of 
France, he seemed a good deal struck, and be- 
came serious. He said, he did not believe in 
ghosts ; though he had heard people affirm, that 
they had seen such things ; he always supposed 
them to be under a delusion ; but that my mo- 
ther's testimony was so clear, and from th^ 
account of her family she was so unlikely a 
person to be deceived^ that he felt bound to give 
his assent to the proposed investigation; only 
stipulating for entire secrecy, and that he might 
fix the day for it himself. *ril speak to a 
builder,' said he ; * Mr. Bautte, of course, will 
wish to be present ; and, perhaps, I may bring 
a fnend with me.' 



290 GHOST 8T0&IS8 AHO 

'^ As I meiitioned foelbie^ he had be^i eaiij 
acquainted with the Zwaigl^'s; aad b^wixt 
him and Alfred the mtimacy still contiiiaed^ 
altliough the latter was by no means the pleasant 
ocmipanion he had been formerly. Mr. Geier- 
stecke conduding that his micle's will, and the 
sudd^i vicissitiides of fortune he had expeii- 
^iced, had affected his spirits^ pitied him ; and 
had oftea endeavoured to argue him out of his 
depression, but with littie effect. 

*^ I have heard him say, that after he bft my 
grandfiithar's house on that day, he went to Mr. 
Zwengler's with the intention of telling him the 
circumstances I have related, and also of giving 
him notice of the impending investigation; but 
when he had got to the door, and his hand was 
mpon the bell, he shrunk from the interview. 
' Not,' he said, ^ that he admitted a suspicion ; 
on the contrary, he repelled it ; but he could not 
overcome an uneasy feeliag at the striking re- 
s^nblance between Louis Zwengler and the 
ghost (if ghost there was), as described by my 
mother. He feared that, if his words did not 
betray this feeling, his countenance would, and 
he could not face Alfred in this state of mind; 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 291 

80 he turned from the (kKxr and went home. 

StQl he felt he could not allow this thing to be 

done without warning his friend of their inten- 

timi, and he sat down to write him a letter ; but 

it was a difficult thing to communicate, — at least, 

he somehow found it so. He could have mentioned 

it jocularly ; but that, under all the circumstances, 
he could not do so ; and he had torn up two 

or three unsuccessful efforts, when the door 

opened, and the servant announced Mr. Zwengler 

himself. 

" My father-in-law tdd me that he felt his 
knees tremble, and his cheek turn pale, when he 
rose to receive his visitor, who seemingly rather 
more cheerful than usual, sedd he had called to 
ask him why he did not come in to-day, when he 
was at his door. ' I was at the window," said 
he, ^ and was quite disappointed to see you turn 
away." 

" This was too good an opportunity to be 
lost, and Mr. Geio^tecke answered, that it was 
quite true, and that he had actually had his hand 
upon the bell, when he thought it was useless 
.troubling him with such nonsense. 

" ' What nonsense ?' asked Zwengler. 

o2 



2$>3 GHOST STORIES AND 

" ' It's about that house I bought of you/ 
said Mr. Geiersteeke. ^ People say they can't live 
in it ;* adding^ while he affected to laugh ; * They 
say there's a ghost in it> and they want to pull 
4own the staircase to look for him/ 

" ' How absurd,' said Mr. Zwengler ; * and 
are you going to do it ?' but the voice sounded 
as if there was something in his throat/ 

" ' We are/ replied Mr. G. * Mr. Bautte has 
never been able to keep a tenant, and I can't re- 
fuse, for it appears they all assert the same thing. 
Even Mr. Bautte's family would not live in it — 
they say they see — ' 

" * Ha ! ha !' laughed Zwengler, rising sud- 
denly, and pushing back his chau* in a hurried 
manner, *but I must leave you — I've an ap- 
pointment ; I merely called as I passed the door, 
to ask why you'd not come in. Bless me ! I'm 
late,' he added, as he looked at his watch ; and 
he hurried out of the room, crying * Good night,' 
as he disappeared. 

" Mr. Geierstecke used to say that he be- 
lieved that he (Mr. G. himself) continued stand- 
ing on the same spot, like a statue, for nearly 
half an hour after the door closed on his visitor. 



k 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 293 

** ' I had scarcely had time to rise from my 
chair/ he said, ' before he was gone, and I feh; 
paralysed. I did not know what to do. I wished 
I had never bought the house, and I lay awake 
all night, thinking of horrors, and then trying to 
persuade myself that perhaps there was no cause 
for my apprehensions after all.' 

" ' I saw nothing more of Zwengler, though 
I frequently passed his house purposely ; and, at 
length, the day arrived which I had — ^not without 
design — fixed at the interval of a week from my 
first visit to Mr. Colman. We all assembled at 
the appointed time, with a respectable workman 
whom I was in the habit of employing, to whom 
we accounted for om* proceeding, by alleging that 
there was a bad smell sometimes, which we 
thought might proceed from a dead rat. 

" ' I never felt more nervous and agitated in 
my life, than while the man was demolishing the 
wall, and we were waiting the denouement; 
while Mary, the heroine, stood pale and earnest, 
with her eyes eagerly fixed on the spot.' 

" ' We had better have a hght, sir,' said the 
mason presently, * There is something here — ' 

" One of the boys went for a light, while 
silent and breathless they waited its arrival. 



294 GHOST STO&LES AND 

" When it came it disclosed a fearful sight. 
There lay, huddled up, as if thrust in in haste, 
the bones of a perfect skeleton, and what ap- 
peared to be burnt remnants ci clothes. Before 
they touched anything, Mr. Bautte sent for the 
pdice, and these sad relics were remored by their 
officers. There was no means of discovering how 
life had been taken, but the medical men said 
that some strong chemical preparation had been 
used to consume the flesh and clothes, and pre- 
vent any bad odour. 

" Everybody knew the Zwenglers and their 
history ; and on this discovery, the prefi&t sent 
for my mother, and took her deposition as to the 
appearance of the figure she had seen. He also 
examined Jemima and the Frenchwoman who had 
left our service ; and the testimony of all parties 
coinciding, he issued an order to arrest Alfred. 
But when they went to his house he was not 
there. The servants said he had been absent 
nearly a week ; that he left, saying he was going 
on business to Dole, and his stay was uncertain. 
He had taken no baggage with him but a carpet 
bag. A messenger was despatched to Dole, but 
nothing was known of him there ; and the en- 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 295 

quiries that were instituted at the Messageries 
and Voituriers threw no light on his mode of 
conveyance, if, indeed, he had left Greneva. 

" Variods people, who had lived in the house, 
now confessed to have been troubled with the 
same apparition ; and several amongst the neigh- 
bours of the lower ranks avowed that they had 
strong suspicions that Alfred Zwengler did not 
come fairly by his fortune, alleging different 
reasons for their opinion; one of which was 
singular — it was, that a little deaf and dumb 
girl, who lived near him, described to her mother, 
that when he passed their door, she always saw 
him as enveloped in a black cloud. 

" Howbeit, Alfred Zwengler never appeared 
more ; and it was generally thought that terrified 
by the impending disclosure he had thrown him- 
self either into the lake or the river, to escape it. 
He left no will, and the fortune went to his sisters; 
But this strange circumstance resulted in my 
mother's marriage to Monsieur de Beaugarde the 
Prefect, who was so captivated by her courage, that 
he made her an offer immediately ; and the 
acquaintance with Mr. Geierstecke, thus com- 
menced, led to my marriage with his son.'* 



296 GHOST STORIES AND 

In answer to my enquiry, of how it was 
supposed the murder was committed, Madame 
de 6. said, the conjecture was, that Louis had 
made his escape from the Chouans, and re- 
turned unexpectedly — a neighbour even testified 
to having seen him enter the house one night at 
the time it was under repair — and that his 
brother by a sudden and dreadful impulse, had 
struck him down unawares. One of the masons 
who had been employed in building the staircase, 
but who was killed by a fall shortly before the 
discovery, had been heard to hint that before he 
died he must unburden his mind of a secret that 
weighed heavily on his conscience. " Not that 
the guilt Ues on my soul, he used to say, but 
perhaps its a sin to hold my tongue." 

However, he had no time to speak; but 
one came from the grave to tell the tale and 
bear awful witness against the unhappy Alfred 
Zwengler. 



FAMILY LEGF.NJW8. 2*97 



THE SHEEP-FARMER^S STORY. 

Thu following singular story was related to 
me in a dialect which, though I understood, from 
having lived much in the country where it was 
spoken, I cannot attempt to imitate, not being 
" to the manner born ;" neither, if I could, would 
it be agreeable, or very comprehensible, to my 
readers in general. I shall, therefore, tell it in 
plain English ; and hope it will interest others 
as much as it did me. 

Sandy Shiels, the narrator, was a sheep- 
farmer in the Lammermuirs. He lived in a lone 
house, in a wild and desolate country, with his 
wife and children, his farm-servants, and his 
dogs, and seldom saw a stranger enter his door, 
from week's end to week's end ; but on certain 
occasions, more or less frequent, Sandy attended 
the fairs and markets about the country ; and at 
the cattle shows, sometimes, appeared in Edinburgh 
itself. He was a shrewd and a simple man — ^for 

o3 



298 GHOST STORIES AND 

the two characteristics are by no means incom- 
patible — ^hardhanded and hardfeatnred, but not 
unkindly ; a serious churchman^ a great reader 
of his Bible, and a keen observer of Nature and 
Nature's language, as men who are bom and 
bred amongst mountains generally are. 

His wife was a plam, hardworking woman^ 
by whom he had two children, yet young ; bat 
he had an elder son by a former marriage, called 
Ihan Dhu; a Highland appellation not common 
in the Lammermuiis ; but his mother was a 
Highland woman, and had given it to him. 
Ihan Dhu means Black John ; and it suited him 
well ; for, instead of the brawny figure and san^ 
hue which so generally prevails in the south, he 
had inherited the slight figure, the dark com- 
plexion, and black hair and eyes of his mother,, 
who was a specimen of the genuine Highland 
type; which, contrary to the beUef commonly 
entertained in England, is (Lord Jefl&rey informed 
me), a little dark unan. 

The two farm-servants were called Donald 
and Bob. The former a heavy, stolid lout, wha 
had just intellect enough to do what he was told ; 
the latter, a smart, lively, goodnatured lad, wha 



FAMILY L£6£NDS. 299 

was fond of reading, when he could get a book ; 
and wide awake about everything that his very 
limited sphere brought him in contact with. 
The only other member of the family was a girl, 
called Annie Goil, an orphan niece of Mrs. 
Shields ; who, in conjunction with her aunt, did 
all the work of the house and dairy. The whole 
household lived and ate, and sat together, and 
with them the two sheep dogs, Coully and Jock. 
In the summer, it was pleasant enough ; but in 
the winter, when the snow fell and the sheep 
were on the hills, they had often a hard time 
of it. 

Annie Goil was a pretty lass; and, natu- 
rally enough, there being no other at hand, the 
three young men, Ihan, Donald, and Rob, were 
all candidates for her favour. Nevertheless, they 
lived tolerably well together ; the rivalry, appa- 
rently, not running very high. Ihan was, of 
course, much the best match; and he might, 
perhaps, feel pretty confident that whenever he 
chose seriously to put in his claim, it could not 
be resisted. Eob, possibly, comforted and con- 
soled himself with the sundry little marks of 
preference she bestowed on him, which might be 



300 GHOST STORIES AMD 

genuine, or might be designed to agacer Ihan. 
As for Donald, he was of so sbw and undemon* 
strative a nature, that though she and the other 
two often jeered him, and pretended to think he 
was the one destined to carry off the prize, he 
exhibited neither anger nor jealousy; if he felt 
either, he kept them to himself. 

Nevertheless, a sharp word, or sour look, 
would occasionally pass between them ; that is, 
between Ihan and Rob; for any dissatisfiaction 
on the part of Donald was only ejcpressed by 
increased stolidity and silence ; and so persuaded 
was the old man that their feelings towards each 
other were not very genial ; to say the least, that he 
had been heard to say to his wife, that Annie Goil 
was a good girl; but, perhaps, it would have 
been better, if she had never come amongst 
them. 

Still they rubbed on "middling well," as 
Sandy said, and certainly far better than might 
)iave been expected under such circumstances. 

The winter preceding the circumstances 
I am about to relate, had been a very severe one, 
and Sandy Shiels, who had exposed himself too 
much to the weat}ier, was laid up with an attack 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 301 

of rbeumatism. As he was a very active inan> 
still not much past middle life, who when in health 
diligently looked after his business himself ; his 
loss during this confinement was much felt ; and 
the others had enough to do to make up for his 
absence. 

On the 27 th of February, the snow was on 
the ground, and the wind blew wildly over the 
Lammermuir hills ; the sheep sought shelter and 
munched their turnips sadly in the nooks and 
hollows. Donald was abroad, with the dogs 
looking after them, and seeing that no stray 
lamb perished in the cold ; while Ihan and Rob 
were off to Gifford. lahn to do business there 
for his father ; for there was a three days fair, or 
market, which Sandy, when in health, never 
failed to attend, both as a buyer and seller ; and 
Rob to fetch some medicine for the patient, and 
other matters wanted a-t the farm. 

Rob set out at dawn of day, for it was a 
long walk of ten miles through the snow, and 
the sooner he could return the better, as the 
things he was to bring were wanted. Ihan rode 
a rough Uttle Shetland poney ; he did not start till 
midday, and was not expected back till the even- 



302 GHOST STORIES AND 

ing after the next. On the first day he had to 
go on as far as Haddington, which is four miles 
beyond GiflFord, where he was to consult a lawyer 
about a disputed point in his father's lease. He 
was to sleep there at the house of a friend, and 
to be back to the Giflford market early the next 
morning. 

Annie Goil stood at the door covertly watch- 
ing Ihan as he mounted his pony, well equipt 
for his cold ride, his neck enveloped in a red 
comforter, knitted for him by Annie herself. She 
leant against the door-post looking about her 
with an air of indifference ; while Ihan seemed 
wholly occupied in tightening his girths and 
seeing that his stirrups were of the right length. 
Neither spoke ; still he lingered over his gear, 
and still she stood leaning against the post, 
when suddenly Mrs. Shiels called from above, 
" Is Ihan gone ? Stop him? " and hurrjing down 
stairs appeared at the door. 

" Ihan,'* she said, " I forgot to ,tell Rob to 
bring sixpennyworth of camphorated spirits for 
your father ; if he has not left Gifford before you 
get there, tell him to get it.'' 

" He will have left, I should think," answered 
Ihan. 



lAMILT LEGENDS. 303 

" Perhaps not," said Mrs. Shiels, ** but if he 
has you must bring it, though I want it to night." 

"Very well," said Than as he rode away, 
and Mrs. Shiels and Annie re-entered the house. 

The hours passed drearily at the farm, with 
the sick man groaning in his pain, and the two 
lonely women dividing their time betwixt his 
chamber and their household cares. As the day 
advanced Annie went frequently to the door and 
looked up the glen ; and Mrs. Shiels, glancing 
at the Dutch timepiece that stood in the kitchen, 
observed that she wondered Rob had not come 
back. Annie responding that the snow was deep, 
and it mi^t be very heavy walking, again went 
to the door and looked up the glen ; but there 
was nobody in sight. The hours dragged on, 
and as it grew later, large flakes began to fall 
and obscure what little light remained. Sandy 
grew impatient and accused Rob of idling and 
lingering at the fair ; Mrs. Shiels wondered ; and 
Annie having done her work, took up her station 
at the door with her gown-skirt over her head ; 
there she stood listening for the sound of a step^ 
for it was too dark to see, and at last, she heard 



304 GHOST STORIES AND 

a heavy foot approaching, but it was Donald 
returning from the hills, followed by Jock. 

" You haven't seen anything of Rob, have 
you ? '* said Annie. 

" How should I see Rob ! He's gone to 
Gifford ar'n't he?" 

" You might have been on that side of the 
hill?" 

" Ar'nt he come back with the stuff? " 

" No ; he might have been here three hours 
since. I can't think what's become of him." 

"Stopt at the Fair, may-be; there's danc- 
ing the night at the Lion." 

" Nonsense ! " said Annie, pouting her lips 
at him, and turning away to prepare their 
evening meal. 

Donald shook himself, and stamped his 
feet to get rid of the snow, and then entered the 
kitchen. Mrs. Shiels hearing a foot, came down, 
hoping to find Rob ; and was very much disap- 
pointed when she saw it was Donald. 

"What can that boy be doing, all this 
time ? " she said. 

" Perhaps he met Ihan, and went back for 
the camphor ; " suggested Annie. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 305 

*' He'd never think of such a thing ! Ihan 
would not let him ; that is, if he had got any 
way on," said Mrs. Shiels. 

"There's dancing the night at the Lion," 
reiterated Donald. 

" Why, the boy would never think of stay- 
ing for that ! " exclaimed Mrs. Shiels ; indignant 
at the mere notion of such a disorderly pro- 
ceeding. 

"To be sure, he wouldn't," said Annie; 
" Donald knows that well enough ;" and her lip 
curled as she spoke ! 

Annie was evidently disturbed at Rob's 
prolonged absence, and angry with Donald's 
insiduous attempts to put an ill construction on 
it. But still Rob did not come. 

Annie went on preparing the supper, which 
consisted of porridge ; and when she had poured 
it into the bowls, she made two messes for the 
dogs. 

" Where's Coullie ? " she said looking rounds 

" Am't he here ? " inquired Donald. 

" No. — Don't you see he's not ? " 

"Well, I thought he came in with me," 
said Donald ; and going to the door he began 



306 GHOST STORIES AND 

whistling the familiar whistle that calls home the 

dogs. Jock leaving his bowl of porridge, that 

Annie had set down, went to the door too. 

Presently they both returned ; Donald sat down 

to his supper, saying, he supposed the dog would 

come presently; and Jock applied himself to his. 

As the night drew on, the wonders and 

conjectures increased, and the family grew more 

and more fidgity and perplexed at Rob's absence. 

Donald went to bed as he had to be up betimes 

in the morning; Mrs. Shields did the same, 

because she slept in her sick husband's room ; 

Annie hngered as long as she could ; then she 

made up a good fire, set a saucepan of porridge 

on the hob, left a bowl and a spoon, and salt on 

the table, and went to bed too. When she was 

undrest and had extinguished her candle, she 

opened the lattice window of her chamber and 

put out her head. The snow still fell, and it was 

very dark ; after listening for some minutes, she 

shut the window, and softly opening her chamber 

door, she crept down stairs again to the kitchen . 

There she unhooked a lantern from the wall, put 

a lighted candle in it, and returning to her room, 

she hung it on the latch of the window before 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 307 

she got into bed. She thought she should not 
sleep, but after a little while she did, and soundly 
too, till next morning. When she opened her 
eyes at dawn of day, the candle was burnt out, 
but the sight of the lantern in so unusual a place, 
reminded her immediately why she had placed 
it there, and she wondered whether Rob had 
come home in the night, and been let in by 
Donald. When she came down, Donald was 
already outside the house cleaning his shoes and 
feeding the pigs. She called to him, " Is Rob 
come?" 

" I dont know,'' he answered. Of course, 
then, he was not. It was most extraordinary. 

" Is CoulUe come in? *' she asked, 

" I ha'nt seen him," he said. 

He was very silent ; swallowed his mess of 
porridge in haste, and then set off to the hills 
with Jock, When Mrs. Shiels came down, the 
same questions were reiterated ; and when she 
found Rob was not come, she was very angry, and 
expressed her conviction that he had staid for the 
dance at the Lion. Even Annie no longer de- 
fended him, for where else could he be all night ?" 
A pretty rating he will get when be comes back 



808 GHOST STORIES AND 

thought she ; and she could not deny that he 
well deserved it. 

She expected him early, and every now and 
then she went to the door as on the preceding 
day ; but hour after hour passed, and he did not 
come. All sorts of conjectures were formed as to 
the cause of the delay, but Mrs. Shiels and her 
husband admitted but one solution^ of the diffi- 
culty — " the boy's head had got clean turned, and 
he was gone to the bad althegither." 

At night, Donald came home to the great 
surprise of all, without Coullie ; he said he had 
seen nothing of the dog. Now Coullie was de- 
voted to Rob — in short, he was the only person 
the animal cared for — and it occurred to Annie 
that he had somehow come upon Rob's footsteps, 
and tracked him to Gifford, and she expected 
whenever they did come, to see them both arrive 
together. 

But that night passed and the next day, 
and then, towards evening, Annie, who had been 
to the door, announced that she heard the pony's 
foot ; here was at hand one who doubtless would 
be able to solve the mystery about the absentee. 
It was the first question addressed to him — 7 
" Where's Rob ?" 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 30S^ 

" How should I know ?'^ 

" Haven't you seen him ?" 

" Seen him, no ; I've not seen him since the 
day before yesterday. Why? what's the mat- 
ter?" 

"He's never come back from Giflford, 
Where was he when you saw him ?" 

" I never saw him at all, except in the morn- 
ing before he set off." 

" You did not meet him on the road, nor in 
theviUage?" 

" No ; I saw nothing of him after he left 
this." 

Did you hear if he had been there ?" 
1 never asked; I bought the camphor—* 
here it is. How's father ?" 

At night, Donald came home, still without 
Coullie ; and as the dog had never strayed be- 
fore, it was natural to conclude that he had gone 
after Rob, wherever the latter might be. The 
irritation of Mr. and Mrs. Shiels increased 
hourly, so did Annie's wonder and perplexity^ 
The two young men, Ihan and Donald, were dif- 
ferently affected ; Ihan seemed rather pleased, 
and he covertly taunted Annie with this deser-* 



cc 

cc 



^10 GHOST STORIES AND 

tion of her favourite ; Donald was only more 
silent and stolid than he had been before. 

But the next day^ and the next passed, and 
so on through the winter, and neither the man 
nor the dog were seen or heard of. It was as- 
certained by enquiry that he had been at Gifford, 
and made his purchases, and it was supposed, 
had left it early, but that no one knew. Cer- 
tainly, he was not at the ball at the Lion. Some- 
body had seen him in company with a young 
man from Edinburgh, in a tax cart, but nobody 
knew who he was; and, finally, Mr. and Mrs. 
Shiels declared their conviction that, tempted by 
fine promises — ^being an ambitious lad — ^he had 
gone off to Edinburgh with this acquaintance, to 
better his fortune ; and Ihan appeared to adopt 
their opinion. Annie had considerable difficulty 
in doing so ; but, at length, even she ceased to 
defend him, since there was no other way of ac- 
counting for his absence. 

Before the winter was over, Donald had left. 
He had come home one night, with his hands 
dreadfully mangled by a pole-cat, which he said 
he had found devouring a rabbit under a bush, 
and had rashly attempted to lay hold of. Here- 



ItJMlLt LEGENDS. 311 

upon, he went away to the infirmary in Edin- 
burgh, to be under Dr. S. ; and Sandy Shiels 
engaged a man to fill his situation, and also 
bought a dog in place of CoulUe, whose loss he 
much regretted, well-broken sheep dogs being 
very v«Juable- 

Some time had elapsed — the fine weath^ 
had sd; in ; and with it, the fanner had got rid 
of his rheumatism, and resumed his former habits 
of active occupation ; wh^i one day, as he was 
crossing the hill between his own £arm and a 
place called ' The Hopes/ he observed a dog trot- 
ting akmg, tliat struck him as being very like 
Ck)ullie. He gave a whistle, and the animal 
stopt and looked round, and on calling him by 
his name, he came up and fondled his master, 
appearing very glad to see him, and finally ac- 
companying him where he was going. 

" The Hopes" was a gentleman's house, about 
three miles from Shiels' farm, and when h^ 
reached the gate, he was surprised to hear the 
keeper at the lodge say, patting the dog familiarly, 
"Well, Willte, so you've come back again?" 
Whereupon Sandy asked him if he knew him. 

" Oh, yes, I kaow him," he said ; "he's a 



312 GHOST STORIES AND 

great favourite of the ladies here. They found 
him on the hill nearly starved, some time ago^ and 
he followed them home, and has lived here, off 
and on, ever since." 

" That's very odd," said Sandy, " for the 
dog's mine. I brought him up from a pup, and 
we broke him ourselves — ^that is, a lad did, that 
lived with me then, called Rob. But, one day 
last winter, the lad disappeared, and the dog too, 
and Tve never seen either of them since, till just 
now I saw the dog on the hill." 

" Well," said the keeper, " I think it was 
early in March the ladies brought him home here. 
He often goes away ; but he comes back again, 
and the ladies take him along with them when 
they walk out." 

Sandy could not conceive why the dog had 
deserted his home, or why he had remained 
starving on the hill, when he knew very well 
where his food awaited him. The keeper agreed 
in its being very extraordinary, since he must 
have known his way over every part of the moor 
for miles round ; and suggested that he might 
have gone after the young man who had disap- 
peared, and been on his way back, when the 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 313 

ladies met him ; but, even if that were so, why 
had he not returned home since, especially as he 
was frequently absent for hours, and sometimes 
all night ? 

When Sandy Shiels had concluded his busi- 
ness, and was about to depart, he whistled the 
dog, who followed him willingly enough ; but as 
he approached his own house, Coullie shrunk 
behind, and seemed inclined to turn tail, and run 
away ; however, he came on in obedience to his 
master's call, and was joyfully received by the 
family in general, who listened with interest to 
the account of his adventures, as far as they 
were known ; all agreeing that his absence must, 
in some way, be connected with that of Rob. It 
was observed that one of his first movements was 
to examine the premises after his own fashion, 
sniffing about, first below, and afterwards above 
stairs in the attic in which Rob and Donald for- 
merly slept. What was the result of these in- 
vestigations we cannot tell ; but when they were 
concluded, he stretched himself before the kitchen 
fire, and went to sleep. 

The following days, Sandy took him on the 
hill when he went to look at the sheep, and he 

p 



814 GHOST STOEIE6 AND 

did his duty as fonnerly ; but on the third or 
fourth evening he was missed, and was absent all 
night. He returned in the morning, and was 
gently chided for this irregularity — ^the family 
concluding he had been to visit his friends at 
"The Hopes/' however, a few evenings after, 
when they were sitting at supper, with the doors 
closed, and the dogs Ij^ng quietly dozing on the 
hearth, Coullie suddenly started up, and began to 
show signs of uneasiness ; while, almost at the 
same moment, something like a low whistle 
reached their ears, which seemed to proceed from 
the air, rather than the earth. They had heard 
no sound of footsteps, but Ihan rose from the 
table and opened the door ; whereupon C!oullie 
seized the opportunity to dart out, and Ihan re- 
turned, saying he could see nobody, but that 
CouUie was off at the rate of ten miles an hour. 
Everybody wondered where he was gone ; and at 
last it was concluded that some person from " The 
Hopes" had been passing near the house, and 
that the dog had recognised the whistle, and fol- 
lowed him. The truant was found at the door 
in the morning, and chided as before, but that 
did not prevent his repeating the offence, till 



FAMILY LEOENBS 315 

their wonder was greatly increased by the follow- 
ing circmnstance : — 

Sandy Shiels always read prayers to his 
family on the Sunday evenings ; and one nighty 
while he was thus engaged, and the dogs were 
lying apparently asleep, Coullie suddenly uttered 
two or three low whines. Annie raised her head 
from her book to bid him be silent, and observ- 
ing that he was sitting up, looking eagerly 
towards the door, which was open, die turned 
her eyes in that direction, and saw to her as- 
tonishment, a man standing in the dusk of the 
passage. As all the inmates of the house were 
present, and the outer door was shut, so that no 
stranger could have ccmie in, she uttered an ex- 
clamation of surprise which interrupted the 
reader, and caused everybody to turn their heads ; 
but with the sound of her voice the figure had 
disappeared, and the others saw nothing, Coul- 
lie ran to the door, and became uneasy, while 
Sandy asked what was the matter. 

" I saw a man in the passage," said Annie, 
looking very pale and agitated. 

" A man," said Ihan, rising ; " I saw no 
man ;" and going into the passage, he opened the 

p2 



316 GHOST STORIES AND 

outer door to look round; whereupon, CouUie 
seized the opportunity, and rushed out. 

"There's nobody that I see/' said Ihan ; 
"but the dog's off again." 

" I'm sure I saw somebody," said Annie. 

" Go and look up stairs," said Mrs. Shiels ; 
Ihan went and returned, saying there was 
nobody in the house but themselves, and Annie 
must have been mistaken. 

But Annie shook her head, and beginning 
to cry, asserted that she had not been mistaken, 
and that she believed the man she saw was Rob, 
adding, that she always thought that the whistle 
they sometimes heard, and which agitated CoulliG 
so much, was Rob's whistle. 

At this suggestion, Ihan fired and showed 
symptoms of great irritation ; and if Sandy had 
not been present, high words would have arisen 
betwixt him and Annie. As it was his counte- 
nance M^as clouded all the rest of the evening. 

This event made a great impression on the 
young girl; she thought of it day and night, 
and she watched with increasing interest Coullies 
inexpUcable proceedings, which still continued. 
Sometimes of an evening they would hear foot- 



FAMILY LEGENDS, 317 

steps, whereon the dog would betray great un- 
easiness till they opened the door, and he could 
dart off on his mysterious errand. Once or twice 
they confined him and would not let him go ; but 
the animal seemed so much distressed and whined 
so piteously, that they ceased to oppose his incK^ 
nations. Although when they heard these foot- 
steps they searched the premises in all directions, 
nobody was ever to be found. Annie wished 
them to endeavour to find out where Coullie 
went ; but nobody seemed to have sufficient 
curiosity to take any trouble about the matter, 
though they all admitted the singularity of the 
circumstances. No doubt, it was difficult, inas- 
much as he always started on these expeditions 
at night, while he ran off so rapidly that it would 
have been impossible to overtake him or keep 
him in sight. This state of things continued till 
the month of October, which became very cold ; 
and one morning, towards the end of it, Annie, 
when she went to the door, found there had been 
a fall of snow in the night. CouUie, who had 
gone off the evening before, was there waiting 
to be let in, and she observed the track of his feet 
on the ground. It immediately occurred to her 



318 GHOST STORIES AND 

that here was an opportunity of discovering what 
she wished so much to know. She had nobody 
to consult, for her aunt and uncle were not come 
down ; and being a stout country girl, she threw 
her shawl over her head, and calling the dog to 
follow her, she set off up hill and down dale, 
guided by the marks of CouUie's footsteps which 
remained perfectly distinct for about four miles 
in the direction of Gifford, when they turned off 
to the left, and stopt at the edge of an old quarry. 
The dog, who had trotted cheerily beside her, 
now began to descend into the hollow, stopping 
and looking up every now and then, whining as 
if inviting her to follow; but after several at- 
tempts she found the descent too steep. When 
at the bottom, Coullie disappeared for a minute 
or two under the embankment, and she heard 
him still whining ; but finding she could make 
BO further investigations without assistance, she 
called the dog who joined her directly, and they 
returned home to find Mrs. Shiels in a dreadful 
state of mind at Annie^s unaccountable and un- 
precedented absence. However, when she com- 
municated the cause of it, and the discovery she 
had made^ Sandy was sufficiently aroused to sagr 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 319 

that he would send some one down to examine 
the quarry. He did so, and the result was 
that they found the remains of poor Rob under 
circumstances that led to the conclusion that he 
had somehow gone out of his way, and fallen into 
the pit ; for on medical examination, it appeared 
that both his legs were broken. As the quarry 
was abandoned and in a lonely spot, a person 
might very possibly die there under such circum- 
stances without being able to make his distress 
known. 

Poor Rob's remains were committed to the 
earth; Coullie left off his erratic habits and 
became an ordinary, but intelligent, sheep dog ; 
and the family at Shiel's farm, after due comment, 
on the singular events that had led to the dis- 
covery of his body, which could only be accounted 
for by admitting a spiritual agency (a view of the 
case which Ihan always repelled with scorn) 
turned their thoughts into other channels, with 
the exception of Annie, who had a strong per- 
suasion that Rob had not come fairly by his end ; 
and oftentimes she would say to Coullie when 
alone with the dog, " Ah, Coullie, if you had a 
tongue that could speak, I think you could tell 
a tale ! " 



320 GHOST STORIES AND 

And Coullie looked at her with his large wise 
eyes full of aflfection ; for she petted and cherished 
him for Rob's sake, and always gave him the 
largest mess at supper time. 

Sometimes, too, Annie had strange thoughts 
about Ihan ; he had become more dark, and 
silent, and sulky, since Eob's death; was it 
because he was jealous of the interest she had 
exhibited, or was it from any other cause ? Did 
he meet Rob that day on his way to Gifford. 
What could Rob be doing so much out of the 
road as the Quarry ? These thoughts natiirallv 
made her more and more cold to Ihan, whilst 
her reserve aggrivated his ill-temper and dis- 
satisfaction. 

And Annie was not the only person to whom 
these questions suggested themselves. People 
would gossip amongst themselves secretly ; it got 
abroad that there had been a good deal of jealousy 
amongst the young men, and it was whispered 
that the first Mrs. Shiels had aptly named 
her son when she called him Ihan Dhu — 
Black John. At length, these reports reached 
Sandy Shiels and his son ; the latter appeared 
sullenly indifferent, but they made the old man 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 321 

very unhappy ; and every night when he prayed 
aloud with the family before retiring to rest, he 
besought God, saying, " Oh Lord if it be thy 
pleasure, may them that are innocent be jus- 
tified ! " 

At term time, when, in Scotland, servants 
frequently, especially farm servants, change their 
situations, the man whom Shiels had engaged in 
Donald's place left ; and having heard that 
Donald, who had been in service at Dunse, was 
leaving also, Sandy wrote and proposed to him 
to return ; the proposal was accepted, and they 
were expecting him, when a cart was heard to 
stop at the door, out of which they looked to see 
him ahght ; but the visitor proved to be an old 
Highland woman who introduced herself as Rob's 
grandmother — his father and mother having emi- 
grated. She said she had heard the account of 
her boy's death, and the attachment displayed 
by the dog, and that she had come all the way 
to see the animal, and had brought the money to 
purchase him ; if his master did not object. She 
had travelled from Argyleshire to Haddington by 
coach ; and at the latter place she had hired a 
jcsivt and a lad to drive her to her destination* 

p 3 



SZ2 GHOST STORIES AND 

She added that she and her old man " were no 
that puir but that they could afford to buy the 
dog that had been so faithful to their ain boy." ] 

Sandy Shiels and his family made her wel- 
come ; invited her to stay and take a day or two's, 
repose after her journey, and granted her request 
with regard to Coullie. Annie was very much 
interested in the old woman ; and the latter was 
deeply impressed with the circumstances the 
young girl related to Her; enquiring minutely 
into every particular of places and persons con- 
nected with the boy's death. She said it was 
*' wonderfu'; " adding, that she had " seen " 
Rob's funeral, — meaning by the second sight — 
" but not the manner of his death ; but she hai 
no doubt God would shew it her before she 
died." 

On the third day she departed ; and Sandy 
Shcils, who had business at Gifford, drove her and 
Annie, who wished to accompany her, in his 
cart. They started in time to meet the coach^ 
Coullie making the fourth passenger; and in 
due time reached the viUage and drove up to the 
door of the Lion, wliere three or four men were- 
sitting on the bench outside smoking and drink.- 



PAMILY LEGENDS. 323 

ing beer ; but the moment the cart stopped — 
ahnost before it had stopped — CoulUe boimded 
out of it and with indescribable fury attacked one 
of the men. His master called him, but he whs 
deaf to his voice ; and so violent was his rage 
that it was not without the assistance of the 
others that he could draw him off. Even then, 
whilst holding him back with an iron grasp, the 
dog growled and shewed his teeth, and with 
flashing eyes, struggled to renew the onslaught. 

"Wha's that?" asked the old woman, who 
had witnessed the scene with surprise. 

" That's our Donald, that I told you of — he 
that lived with us in poor Rob's time," said Annie 
" What a very extraordinary thing of Coullie to 
do ! I never saw him in such a way before. 
Besides, he couldn't have forgotten Donald ! " 

" Forget him ! " exclaimed the old woman ; 
''Na, na; CouQie no forgets. Mind ye lass; 
tak tent o' that man — there's bluid upon him ! " 

Donald in the mean time had retreated into 
the house in search of some water to wash his 
hand that Coullie had bitten. When he came 
put the old woman and the dog had departed. 

But the lookers on were not uninterested 



324 GHOST STORIES AND 

observers of what had past. A new idea struck 
them ; the tide of opinion was rather turned in 
Ihan's favour. However, this was but the under 
current of gossip. Donald went home with Sandy 
Shiels and Annie, who whatever they might have 
thought, said nothing; but after this, in the 
nightly prayer, Sandy not only besought God 
that the innocent might be justified ; but also, 
that the guilty might be brought to repentance ; 
and sometimes he would go further, dilating on 
the duties enjoined by a irue repentance ; such 
as reparation, where reparation could be made ; 
and, at all events, where it could not, taking the 
burthen of our guilt on our own shoulders, even 
though it weigh us down to death, rather than 
let the guiltless man suffer, though it were only 
the breath of slander. 

One morning, about three weeks after the 
departure of the old Highland woman, when 
they opened the door they found Coullie waiting 
to be let in. However, kindly treated by his 
new owners, he had found his way back ; a letter 
arrived from them shortly afterwards, saying, 
they had missed him, and that they did not 
doubt that he would reach his former home. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 325 

" and, may, be yet give testimony agen the 
wicked." 

Annie kept the contents of this epistle to her- 
self, but it did not escape her eye that Donald 
seemed cowed by Coullie's enmity, which the 
animal never failed to exhibit as much as he 
durst. Moreover, as time passed, Donald lost 
his appetite and the healthy hue of his com- 
plexion ; in short it was evident he was far from 
happy in his situation ; and she thought that 
Sandy's significant and awful prayers were eating 
into his soul and w^earing him away. 

Farm servants are usually hired for six 
months ; and at last Donald gave warning that 
he should leave next term — he did not think the 
place agreed with him ; so it seemed indeed ; but 
that was the year 1832 ; and ere term time 
arrived, the cholera came, and seized upon Donald 
as one of its first victims in those parts. 

Before he died, he made his confession in 
presence of the doctor, to the effect, that he was 
jealous of Rob, because in the morning he and 
Ihan had overheard a conversation between him 
and Annie, and she had promised him a lock of 
her hair. That he met him as he was returning 



326 GHOST STORIES AND 

&om Gifford^ induced him to go out of his road 
towards the Quarry, by saying one of the sheep 
had fallen in, and when Rob was off his guard, 
he pushed him over ; but not without a despe- 
rate struggle, Rob being very active and strong. 

He was dreadfully frightened, and ran from 
the place not knowing what would happen, and 
for some time he hourly expected Rob to come 
home. But at length finding he did not, he 
ventured to approach the spot ; but CouUie was 
there and he flew at him and bit him so severely 
that he resolved to leave the country and go to 
the Infirmary. He had heard of Rob's remains, 
being found and buried, while he was Uving at 
Dunse ; and thinking there would be no more 
enquiry about the matter, he accepted the far- 
mer's offer to come back, because he wanted to 
see Annie. 

And so he died, justifying the innocent, ac- 
cording to the old man's prayers ; but Ihan did 
not long survive. Sandy said he feared he had 
taken to whiskey drinking from disappointment 
and vexation, and the cholera found him also an 
easy prey. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 327 



MY FRIEND^S STORY. 

" I don't know how often you have promised 
to tell me a remarkable thing in the ghostly Hne, 
that happened to yourself," said I, the other day 
to my firiend; "but something has always come 
in the way ; now I shall be very much obliged to 
you for the particulars, if you have no objection 
to my printing the story." 

" None," she said, " but as regards names of 
persons and places ; the circumstances are so 
singular that I think they deserve to be recorded. 
That part of the affair which happened to myself 
I vouch for ; and I can only say that I have most 
entire confidence in the truth of the rest, and that 
all the enquiries I made, tended to confirm the 
story. 

" I remember your asking me once, why I so 
seldom visited our place in S — , and I told yoa 



328 GHOST STORIES AND 

it was because it was so dreadfully triste that I 
could not inhabit it. You will perhaps suppose 
that what I am going to relate happened there, 
but it did not, for the house has not even the re- 
commendation of being haunted — that would at 
least give it an interest — but I am sorry to say 
the sole interest it possesses is, that it happens tc 
be ours. Dull as it is, however, we lived thero 
shortly after I was married, for some time. I 
had no children then, which made it all the 
duller, particularly when my husband was called 
away ; and on one of these occasions, some . ac- 
quaintance I had, who were living at a place 
called the Bellfry, about two miles distant, invited 
me to visit them for a few days. 

" The Bellfry is a common place square house, 
just such as the doctor or lawyer would inhabit 
in a provincial town ; a little white swing gate, a 
round grass plot, with a few straggling dahlias, 
a gravel road leading to the small portico, and a 
terrible loud bell to rins:, when vou want to be 
admitted. So much for the exterior. The in- 
terior is not at all more suggestive to the fancy. 
On the ground floor, there is the usual ptarlour on 
one side, and drawing-room on the other, with a 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 321) 

long passage leading to the offices at the back ; 
upstairs, a sort of corridor, with dingy bedrooms 
opening into i{. Decidedly not lively, but per- 
fectly prosaic, it was by no means calculated to 
inspire ghostly terrors ; and, indeed, I must con- 
fess the supernatural, as it is called, was a subject 
that, at that time, had never engaged my atten- 
tion. I mention all this to show you that what 
happened was not ' the offspring of my excited 
imagination,' as the learned always tell you these 
things are. Moreover, I was young ; and, to the 
best of my behef, in very good health. 

" The room they gave me was the best. It 
Avas plainly but comfortably furnished, with a 
large four-post bed, and it looked into the church- 
yard ; but this is not an uncommon prospect in 
country towns, and I thought nothing about it. 
Now that we understand these things better, I 
should think it not ghostly, but unhealthy. 

" The first two or three nights I slept there, 
nothing particular occurred ; but on the fourth or 
fifth night, soon after I had fallen asleep, I was 
awoke by a noise which appeared very near me, 
and on listening attentively, I heard a rustling 
sound, and footsteps on the floor. I forgot for 



330 GHOST STORIES AND 

the moment that I had locked my door, and con- 
cUiding it was the housekeeper, who sometimes 
looked in when I was going to bed, to ask if I 
was comfortable, I said, ' Is that you Mrs. H ?' 
But there was no answer, upon which I sat up 
and looked around ; and seeing nobody, though 
I heard the sound still, I jumped out of bed. 
Then I observed, for if was a bright moonlight 
night, that there was a large tree in the church- 
yard, which grew very close to the window, and 
I concluded that a breeze had arisen, and caused 
the branches to touch the glass ; so I got into 
bed again quite satisfied, and settled myself to 
sleep. But scarcely had I closed my eyes, when 
the footsteps began again, much too distinct this 
time to be mistaken for anything else ; and whilst 
I was listening in amazement, I heard a heavy, 
heavy sigh. I had I'aised myself on my elbow, 
in order to have my ears freer to listen, and pre- 
sently I saw the curtains at the foot of the bed, 
which were closed, slowly and gently opened. I 
saw no figure, but they were held apart, ap- 
parently by the two hands of some one standing 
there. I bounded out of bed, and rushed out of 
the room into the corridor, screaming for help. 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 331 

All who heard me, got up and came out of their 
rooms, to enquire what had happened ; but I had 
not courage to tell the truth, I was afraid of giv- 
ing offence, or incurring ridicule, and I said I had 
been awakened by a noise in my room, and I was 
afraid somebody was concealed there. They 
went in with me and searched ; of course, nobody 
was found; and one suggested that it was a 
mouse, another that it was a dream, and so forth. 
But then, and still more the next morning, I 
fancied, from their manner, they were better ac- 
quainted with my midnight visitor than they 
chose to say. However, I changed my room, and 
soon after quitted the Bellfry, which I have never 
slept at since, so there concludes the story, so far 
as I am concerned ; but there is a sequel to the 
tale. 

" I must tell vou that I never mentioned these 

t/ 

circumstances, because I knew I should only be 
laughed at ; besides I thought it might annoy 
my hosts, as they had an idea of going abroad for 
some time, and it might have interfered with their 
letting the house. 

" Now to my sequel. 

" Two or three years after this occurrence, I 



332 GHOST STORIES AND 

fell desperately ill ; first I was confined of an in- 
fant which did not snmve ; and then I was at- 
tacked with typhus fever, which raged in the 
neighbourhood. I was at death's door for eleven 
weeks, and not expected to recover ; but you see, 
I did, nonohstant messrs, les medicins ; but I 
was so long regaining my strength, that I was 
recommended to \t\ the effects of a sea vovasre. 
Even then, I could not sit up, and was lifted 
about like a baby; and as a fine lady's maid 
would have been of no use on board the vaclit, a 
sailor's daughter from the coast was engaged to 
attend me ; a stronc:, healthv vounoj woman, to 
whom my weight was a feather. She tended me 
most faithfully, and I found her simple, truthful, 
and straightforward ; insomuch, that I had 
thoughts of engaging her in my service perma- 
nently. With this view, and also because it 
helped to pass the time, I questioned her about 
her family, and the manner of life of her class, in 
the out of the way part of the country from which 
she came. 

" ' I suppose, Mary, you've never been away 
from home before?' 
jji " ' Oh, yes, Ma'am ; I was in service as house- 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 333 

maid for a short time at the Bellfry, not far from 
your place, Ma'am ; but I soon left that, and I 
have never been out again/ 

'' ' But why did you leave ? Did'nt you like 
tLc place ?' 

" ' No, Ma'am.' 

'' ' But why ? Perhaps you'd too much to do P'^ 

" No, ]\Ia'am, it wasn't a hard place ; but 
unpleasant things happened, and so I left.' 

'' ' AVhat sort of unpleasant things ?' said I, 
my own adventure there suddenly recurring to 
my memor}^ 

'' She hesitated, and said, that perhaps it would 
alarm me ; she had also made a sort of promise 
to her master and mistress not to talk about it, 
and she never had mentioned what happened ex- 
cept to her parents, in order to account for leav- 
ing so suddenly. I assured her that I should not 
be alarmed, and overcame her scruples, and then 
she told me what follows. 

" It appeared that she was engaged as house- 
maid at the Bellfiry about two years before my visit 
there. Shortly after her arrival, her mistress be- 
ing taken very unwell, her master went to sleep 
at the other side of the house, whilst Mary made 



334 GHOST STORIES AND 

her bed in the dressing-room, in order to be near 
at hand if the invaUd required any assistance 
in the night. She had directions to keep some 
refreshment ready in case it was wanted^ and 
towards two o'clock in the morning, her mistress 
saying she should like a little broth, Mary rose, 
and half drest, proceeded down stairs with a can- 
dle in her hand, to fetch some which she had left 
simmering on the kitchen fire. As she descended 
the last flight of stairs, she was a good deal 
startled at seeing a bright light issuing from the 
kitchen — the door of which was open — much 
brighter than could possibly proceed from the fire, 
for the whole passage was illuminated by it. 
Her first and very natural idea was that there 
were thieves in the house ; and she was about to 
rush upstairs again to her master's room, when it 
occurred to her that one of the servants might be 
sitting up for some object of her own, and she 
stopt to listen, but there was not the least sound 
— all was silent. It then occurred to her that 
possibly something might have caught fiire ; so 
half-frightened, she advanced on tip4oe and 
peeped in, when, to her surprise, she saw a lady 
dressed in white, sitting by the fire, into which 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 335 

she was sadly and thoughtfully gazing. Her 
hands were clasped upon her knees, and two 
large greyhounds — beautiful dogs, said Mary — 
sat at her feet, both looking up fondly in her face. 
Her dress seemed to be of cambric or dimity, and 
from Mary's description, was that worn by ladies 
in the seventeenth century. 

" The kitchen was as bright as if illuminated 
by twenty candles, but this did not strike her 
she said, till afterwards ; so quite reassured by the 
appearance of a lady instead of a band of robbers, 
it did not occur to her to question who she was 
or how she came there ; and saying, * I beg your 
pardon ma'am', she entered the kitchen, dropt a 
curtsey, and was going towards the fire, but as 
she advanced the vision retreated, till, at last^ 
lady, chair, and dogs, gUded through the closed 
window ; and then the figure appeared standing 
erect in the garden, with its face close to the 
panes, and the eyes looking sorrowfully and 
earnestly on poor Mary. 

" ' And what did you do then, Mary ? ' said I. 

" ' Oh, ma'am, then I/ared to feel very queer, 
and I fell upon the floor with a scream.' 

" ' Her master heard the cry, and came down 



336 GHOST STORIES AND 

to see what was the matter. When she told him 
what she had seen, he endeavoored to persuade 
her it was all fancy ; bnt Mary said she knew 
better than that ; however, she promised not to 
talk of it, as it might frighten her sick mistress. 

" Subsequently, she met the same melancholy 
apparition pacing the corridor into which the 
room that I had slept in opened ; and not liking 
these rencontres she gave warning and left the 
place. 

" She knew nothing more, for her home was at 
some distance from the Belfry, which she had not 
since revisited: but when I had recovered mv 
health and returned to that part of the country, 
I found, on enquiry, that this apparition was 
believed to haunt not only the house, but the 
neighbourhood ; and I conversed with several 
people who affirmed they had seen her, generally 
alone, but sometimes accompanied by the two 
dogs. 

" One woman said she had no fear, and that 
she had determined if she met the ghost, to try 
and touch her, in order to ascertain if it was 
positively an apparition; she did meet her in 
the dusk of the evening on the path that runs 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 337 

by the high road between the Belfry and Gr . . . 
and put out her arm to take hold of her dress. 
She felt no substance, but she described the 
sensation as if she had plunged her hand into 
cold water. 

"Another person saw her go through the hedge, 
and he observed, that he could see the hedge 
through the figure as she ghded into the field. 

" It is whispered that this unfortunate lady 
was an ancestress of the original proprietor of the 
place, who married a man she adored, contrary 
to the advice of her friends ; and too late she 
discovered that he had taken her only for her 
money, which was needed to repair his ruined 
fortunes ; he, the while being deeply enamoured 
of her younger sister, whose portion was too 
small for his purpose. 

" The sister came to live with the newly mar- 
ried couple ; and suspecting nothing, the bride 
was some time wholly unable to account for her 
husband's mysterious conduct and total aliena- 
tion. At length she awakened to the dreadful 
reahty, but unable to overcome her passion, she 
continued to live under his roof, suffering all the 
tortures of jealousy and disappointed love. She 



338 OHOST STOEIBS AMB 

shunned the world; and the worlds who soon 
learnt the state of affairs, shunned her husband's 
society ; so she dragged on her dreary existence 
with no companionship but that of two remarka- 
ble fine greyhounds, which her husband had 
given her before marriage. Riding or walking, 
she was always accompanied by these animals — 
they and their affection were all she could call 
her own on earth. 

" She died young ; not without some suspidoiis 
that her end was hastened — at leasts passively, 
by neglect, if not by more active means. 

" When she was gone, the husband and the 
sister married ; but the tradition runs, that the 
union was anything but blest. It is said that 
on the wedding night, immediately after her at- 
tendant had left her, screams were heard pro- 
ceeding from the bridal chamber ; and that on 
going upstairs, the bride was found in hysterics, 
and the groom pale, and apparently horror- 
stricken. After a little while, they desired to be 
left alone, but in the morning it was evident that 
no heads had prest the pillows. They had past 
the night without going to bed, and the next day 
they left their home — she never to return. She 



FAMILY LEGENDS. 339 

is supposed to have gone out of her mind, and to 
have died abroad in that state, carefully tended 
by him to the last. After her decease, he re- 
turned once to the Bellfry, a prematurely aged, 
melancholy man ; and after staying a few days, 
and destroying several letters and papers, to do 
which appeared the object of his visit, he went 
away, and was seen no more in that county." 

Alas, for poor human nature ! How we are 
cursed in the realisation of our own wishes ! 
How we struggle and sin to attain what we are 
never to enjoy ! 



THi: END. 



08TBLL, PUMTBB, HABT ITBBBT, BLOOMSBURT. 



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